A worldwide scholarship programme, “15 for 15”, aimed at keeping students enrolled in technology studies with strong Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programmes has been announced by Avanade.
Based on their histories of academic excellence in STEM-related fields, UCL, Cal Poly Ponoma and University of Pretoria will be the first universities to take part in the scholarship programme that collectively leverages nearly $500 000 in funding over the course of the programme.
“I am personally committed to ensuring our people and our clients recognise the value of encouraging young women to pursue an education and a career in the IT sector,” says Adam Warby, CEO of Avanade. “Students who may not necessarily have otherwise had the opportunity to finish their studies will benefit most greatly from this ongoing scholarship programme.”
Beyond financial support, with “15 for 15”, Avanade will support scholarship recipients by providing internships, work experience, mentoring and an alumni network for participants. The initial 15 scholarship beneficiaries will be chosen based on several criterion, with a heavy emphasis on assisting female applicants to complete their university education.
This is the inaugural year of a programme expected to benefit at least 45 students over the next five years. “15 for 15” is also the flagship initiative in Avanade’s new corporate citizenship programme which aims to close the gender, technology and income gaps for women.
Reporting to the executive office, corporate citizenship at Avanade will empower, provide access and upskill women in the communities where the company operates. The “15 for 15” programme, awarding 15 scholarships in recognition of Avanade’s 15-year anniversary, is a first step in achieving these goals and formalising the approach.
“Our learn-by-doing philosophy fits well with the goals of Avanade’s 15 for 15 programme. The hands-on experiences, internships and mentoring our five recipients will receive is as important as the monetary award,” says Soraya Coley, president of Cal Poly Pomona. “We know the true impact of Avanade’s generosity will be realised after graduation when these women make positive changes in their respective STEM fields.”
As one of the most successful technology joint ventures, Avanade is celebrating its 15-year anniversary and the new corporate citizenship focus by giving back to the community. They hope to enhance lives, by providing skills and technology to women for innovation with passion and purpose.