Well before the pandemic turned higher education upside down, Maya Bhattacharjee and Reuben Ogbanna saw Black and Brown students saddled by debt and left behind. The two educators put their heads together and launched the Marcy Lab School in 2019.
Their organization is based in a low-income Brooklyn community and provides an immersive education program that’s designed to prepare students of color for full-time careers in fast-growing tech professions.
“It’s more than just about ‘poor kids learning to code,’” Ogbanna told TheGrio’s Danielle James. “We are pushing the boundaries of secondary education. When we are successful, people are going to be questioning what is valuable about the traditional college experience at all. Institutions will be looking at this model to be relevant.”
The inaugural class of fellows graduated in September. James reported that 89% of program graduates landed full-time software engineering jobs at companies that included the New York Times, Weight Watchers, and JP Morgan.
In today’s curation of must-read innovation and tech news, the Plug In South LA Beat, let’s find out how the Marcy Lab School places underrepresented and underserved high school graduates in a position of opportunity:
Photo: Maya Bhattacharjee and Reuben Ogbanna. Credit: Marcy Lab School