Ever since news got out that the National Science Foundation created a $500,000 grant for minority, female students at Florida A&M in the computer information science department, their phones haven’t stopped ringing. Students left and right want to know how they can get a piece of the action. The chair of the department says they are fielding up to 50 calls a day from those who want the opportunity to student for free. Students like Yashema Mack, who received grant money for her undergraduate and now graduate study is spending her summer studying at the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, one of the world’s premier science institutions.
According to the Computer Research Association, women of color make up 8 percent of the CIS field and Black women make up about 3.3 percent in the country. Recognizing that women of color are underrepresented in the field of computer science, FAMU received the grant to help encourage more sisters to study science. So far, 38 women have been awarded scholarships.—WLW