Fri, Jul

LA Promise Fund Launches Hello Future Summit

In a collaboration of iD Tech Camps, the Annenberg Foundation, and the L.A. Promise Fund, 200 South L.A. students were able to participate in a week-long tech camp at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University.


The two-day summit at L.A. Live will address the existing pipeline problem within STEM fields.

LA Promise Fund hosted a summer internship program for high school students. Above, Keyron Colvin participated in a workshop at Microsoft’s Playa Visit offices. Photos by Jason Lewis

By Tracey Edwards

The LA Promise Fund will launch its inaugural Hello Future event at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.  This STEM event will be held in partnership with YoMo Los Angeles, an interactive showcase of science and technology that brings classroom learning to life.  The two-day summit will be held on October 23 and 24, and will bring together students from local middle schools, high schools, and colleges for an interactive experience with entrepreneurs, and tech innovators.

“We’re attracting young people of color with the goal of connecting them to STEM-focused career opportunities,” said Veronica Melvin, LA Promise Fund CEO.  “We’re going to have an interactive experience that will engage, inspire, and empower young people.”

Hello Future addresses the existing pipeline problem within STEM fields by encouraging young adults to consider careers in the STEM field.

“In California 80 percent of our workforce is African American and Latino, but in the tech sector, only eight percent of jobs are held by African Americans and Latinos,” Melvin said.  “We also know that women are extremely underrepresented in the tech field.  Within the STEM occupations, Latinas and African American women make up only one to three percent of the workforce.  So you can see that there’s a giant divide between the growing industry that is STEM and the high wage jobs, versus who is prepared to take those jobs.  The purpose of Hello Future is to cultivate a diverse workforce pipeline for the STEM areas.”

The summit will feature inspiring keynotes, interactive panels focused on different aspects of STEM, a career fair with over 100 companies in the STEM-space, and an experiential floor, jam-packed with interactive exhibitions. More than 10,000 students and young adults from local schools will attend, and content from the event will be made available to over 200 partner schools nationwide.

“The future of the Los Angeles and global economies will be driven by careers in STEM-related fields, yet there continues to be a significant underrepresentation of minorities in those fields,” Melvin said. “With Hello Future, we’re addressing the pipeline problem by engaging young people from middle school through college in an immersive STEM experience designed to make STEM fields more accessible.”

Hello Future builds off of the LA Promise Fund’s hugely successful Girls Build initiative, which challenges young women from public middle school and high schools to use STEM principles and 21st century learning skills to affect social change. Since launching in 2014, Girls Build has brought together tens of thousands of LA-based young women to hear from leading figures such as Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, Shonda Rhimes, Malala, Moj Mahdara, Bozoma St. John, and more. After hosting several successful Girls Build summits in Los Angeles, the LA Promise Fund decided to expand the summit to include more opportunities for engagement and to reach a wider audience. With the belief that the future of the global economy will be driven by careers in STEM-related fields, and the knowledge that young women and minorities are significantly underrepresented in those fields, the LA Promise Fund launched Hello Future.

This event will take place at the Microsoft Theater and Los Angeles Convention Center.  For more information and to register a student, visit www.lapromisefund.org/hello-future/.