Technology company Amazon announced Wednesday that it has awarded $10 million in computer science college scholarships to 250 high school seniors from underserved and historically underrepresented communities, nearly 100 of whom are Hispanics.
Each student will receive $40,000 over four years to study computer science at the university of their choice starting this year, the company specializing in e-commerce and computer services said in a statement.
Recipients will also be able to participate in paid company internships after their first year of college to gain work experience and mentorship with company leaders.
She added that since 2019, the program has provided $22 million in scholarships to 550 students in the United States.
Academic achievement, leadership, participation in school and community activities, work experience, goals, and the need for financial assistance were considered for selection.
This year’s winners come from more than 30 US states and territories, including Puerto Rico.
More than 70% of grantees are identified as African American, Hispanic, and Native American and 50% are female, groups currently underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Computer science is the fastest growing profession in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment opportunities for IT workers will grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030.
However, only 8% of STEM graduates earn a degree in computer science, and only a small percentage of them come from historically underserved and underrepresented communities, the company noted.
“These opportunities are essential to building a diverse tech industry and enriching our communities,” said Victor Renoso, Global Director of Philanthropic Education Initiatives at Amazon.