The RB Annis Educational Foundation recently added to its support of the Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) program, bringing its total investment to $250,000. Robert B. Annis, the foundation’s late founder, was an alumnus of Arsenal Technical High School. This gift will be used to fund general program expenses.
The year-round iDEW program currently benefits four Indianapolis high schools—Providence Cristo Rey, Arsenal Technical, Pike, and Northwest. Two hundred forty students, in grades 9 through 12, are participating this year in modules that include robotics, coding, and Internet of Things. This is the third year iDEW has been operating in Indianapolis.
The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI faculty, administration, and students work with the school principals, teachers, and academic counselors from these four selected schools to develop and implement a successful enrichment program that focuses on STEM. The learning modules are highly engaging and educational, with the primary focus of instilling interest in STEM areas, and a primary objective of advancing these students into a college education and a career in informatics.
There is a growing number of unfilled, high-paying jobs in the IT industry. The iDEW program inspires students and provides them with the skills needed to secure employment. The program also increases diversity in the IT workforce, as 80 percent of program participants are underrepresented minorities and women.
“We are highly appreciative of this gift from RB Annis Educational Foundation, and are grateful to their board of directors for recognizing the critical role iDEW serves in filling the IT workforce and for helping offer this opportunity to the youth of Indianapolis,” said Mathew Palakal, iDEW program director and executive associate dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. “Such opportunities would not be available to these students without the critical financial support and expertise from our sponsors and partners.”