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  • Writer's pictureChris Smith

Improving Access to Quality Education Through Strategic Education Grants

Grants and Philanthropy, K-12 Education & Youth Development, STEM (Original article can be found at: seeks to strategically transform teaching and learning to match the skills needed for a 21st century workforce. Through our partnerships with schools, districts, and nonprofits that break down barriers to quality education, students gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to pursue successful careers and be productive members of their communities.

Our strategic grants program supports innovative, scalable solutions in STEM education with a focus on computer science and increasing exposure of underrepresented groups and girls. Mission Bit (East Mission Initiatives) (US) aims to eliminate the tech divide for youth living in poverty across the San Francisco Bay Area by building computer programming and professional opportunity pathways for youth and young adults. Mission Bit has been a key Dreamforce partner for the last two years, leading coding workshops for over 200 middle school students from Oakland and San Francisco Unified School Districts. The grant will help support Mission Bit’s goal to create tech pathways for 10,000 students to enter a career in the tech sector by the year 2020.

Citywise Education (Ireland) provides educational and social supports to young people living in disadvantaged city communities in Dublin and Belfast, Ireland. Citywise plans to use its grant to turn 150 square meters (approximately 1,615 square feet) of existing Citywise space into a “STEMSquare” facility, a model environment to teach and learn STEM skills and concepts to about 1,500 youth in Dublin. The expansion will enable them to double the amount of students that they interact with in STEM activities – thereby increasing the pool of potential candidates in the future for STEM jobs.

Oakland Public Education Fund (US) is the only organization supporting all public schools in Oakland, CA, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education. Through the work of partners like Self-eSTEM and the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland, this grant will allow 320 students to participate in FIRST Lego League, a nationally acclaimed robotics program that challenges middle school students along with adult coaches to use teamwork to research a real-world problem and develop a solution, and then to design, build, and program a robot for competition against other teams. This grant comes on the heels of’s new partnership with Oakland Unified School District to improve computer science education. Girls Who Code (US) focuses on closing the gender gap in computing fields. Mobilizing leading executives, educators, and engineers, Girls Who Code developed a new model of computer science education designed to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the skills to succeed in the field. Our grant to Girls Who Code will support 40 girls in Los Angeles and Washington DC at the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, a free 7-week summer class teaching 10th-11th grade girls coding at USC Marshall School of Business and Georgetown University.

TechPoint Foundation for Youth (TPF4Y) (US), the leader in technology education efforts for the state of Indiana since 2001, ensures its state’s underserved K-12 students have access to experiential learning opportunities that inspire the pursuit of STEM careers. TPF4Y’s grant will increase participation in the US2020 initiative and CoderDojo Indiana’s hands-on engaging STEM programs for 1,400+ K-12 students and 250 STEM professional mentors throughout Central Indiana. All of their programs focus on girls, minorities, and students from low-income backgrounds, indirectly resulting in the elimination of gender and racial disparities within STEM education and the workforce.

SchlaU School (Germany) supports unaccompanied minors and young refugees in exercising their human right to education and the opportunity to find work and become a productive member of society. SchlaU School will use its grant to improve their mentoring program and IT infrastructure, enabling 300 refugee students ages 16-18 to receive training equivalent to those that have had higher levels of education.

St. Dominic’s College (Ireland) is an all-girls secondary school in Dublin, Ireland. They’re focused on helping all students reach their full potential and have been committed to ensuring equity of access for their students to higher education with a STEM focus despite the many barriers which they face in their local community. Ballyfermot, where the college is located, has high levels of unemployment and is among the most underserved areas in Ireland. Higher education attainment in Ballyfermot is as low as 16%, according to the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education 2015 – 2019. The grant to St. Dominic’s will help increase engagement and exposure to STEM programs, Professional Development Training, IT infrastructure and mentoring for its nearly 400 students, age 12-18, making it making it poised to become a leader in building the pipeline of women in STEM. is inspired by the work of our partners and we are proud to support their missions. By uniting the passion of our employees and the power of our product we aim to empower our youth, their families, and the communities where we live and work.

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