Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Netflix Mogul Invests in Latino Education

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, announced this week he is investing $100 million in education. His first gifts were to support black and Latino youth. (Flickr/JD Lasica)

Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings announced this week a new philanthropic endeavor to invest $100 million in education. A portion of his first $1.5 million gift will support Latino youth through the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley

Hastings’ gift to the foundation will go toward “helping the Bay Area’s Latino high school grads gain the degrees and hands-on experience they’ll need to be hired in big-tech down the road,” Molly Jackson reports for The Christian Science Monitor. 

The foundation’s Latinos in Technology Initiative plans to award 100 scholarships to students — 50 men and 50 women — in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields this summer. Hastings’s gift will help fund summer internships for the students.

Ron Gonzales, the Hispanic Foundation’s president and CEO and a former executive at Hewlett-Packard, told Jackson the need for such programs became “painfully clear” when top tech employers shared data showing the disparity between the number of Latinos living in the Bay Area and the number of Latinos the companies employed. 

A 2014 USA Today analysis found the disparity is not necessarily due to a lack of educated minority candidates for the white collar positions. In fact, top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them. (Read more on that here.)

The other portion of Hastings’ first donation has gone to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which enables 60,000 students to attend college each year.

According to its website, the goal of the new Hastings Fund is to expand education opportunities: ”Currently, too many children do not have access to amazing schools. Our aim is to partner with communities to significantly increase the number of students who have access to rich and holistic educational experiences,” it states. 

This isn’t Hastings’ first investment in education: He is a former president of the California State Board of Education and has advocated for education reform and charter schools. (For more on his involvement in the field, check out this article by EWA’s Executive Director Caroline Hendrie, formerly of Education Week.)

“I’m so blessed to be able to do this, and I hope to do more in the future,” Hastings said in a Facebook post Tuesday. He thanked members and employees of the popular streaming service for making the new Hastings Fund possible.

With questions or comments about Latino Ed Beat, contact Natalie Gross. You can also follow her on Twitter @NGross_EWA.

Read other Latino Ed Beat articles.

Related Posts

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Universities Produce Twice As Many Minority Graduates As Leading Tech Companies Hire

Where are the Hispanics in Silicon Valley? 

Many are part of the area’s “invisible workforce” — cleaning and guarding buildings for companies primarily made up of white and Asian males

Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Samykolon (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Blog: Latino Ed Beat

College Tech Program Trains Latinos for Silicon Valley

A community college computer-science class made up mostly of Latinos has set its sights on bringing more diversity to the technology industry. 

Source: Flickr/ COD Newsroom (CC BY 2.0)
Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Report: More Latinos Earning STEM Degrees

More Latinos are earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields; yet more are needed, a new report by Excelencia in Education claims.

According to the study, “Finding Your Workforce: Latinos in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” Latinos earning credentials in STEM increased to 9 percent in 2013 from 8 percent in 2010. 

Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Report: Many Silicon Valley Latino Students Not Prepared for College

While Silicon Valley is world-renowned for its innovative high-tech industry, a new report says that only 20 percent of Latino students in the region are graduating high school within four years and are eligible for admission to the University of California and California State University systems.