High tech mentorship program looks for more money to aid expansion: CATA CEO speaks out
October 29, 2013

A local program that connects high school students with mentors in the high tech industry is looking for more money.

(Stock image)

Organizers of the TechU.me programsay it needs $1.5 million to continue past March 2014 and expand to other cities, including Waterloo.

It’s also looking for new partners to take the program nationwide.

“The TechU.me program is a brilliant example of industry rolling up its sleeves to create the next generation of workers,” said John Reid, president and CEO of the Canadian Advanced Technology Association, in a press release.

“With the success they’ve had, we believe this program should be expanding across the country to help raise awareness of technology careers with even more kids.”

The program, run by the Ottawa Network for Education, works to raise awareness of career options in the tech industry and to keep high school students in science, technology, engineering and math courses.

According to the group, 50 per cent of high school students drop out of math and science courses after grade 10.

TechU.me claims its having success in those areas. It is reporting a “34 per cent increase in the number of students enrolled in senior computer studies, computer science and communications technology courses” in high schools where it is present.

The program is currently in 53 Ottawa-area schools and has reached-out to over 10,000 students through a variety of programs, of those 2,000 students were placed with mentors. The organization hopes to reach 29,000 students by 2017.