Over the past year, Box has been partnering with CODE2040, a non-profit organization that works with Black and Latina/o engineering students early in their college careers to enhance exposure and access to technical careers in the Silicon Valley. This March, CODE2040 hosted their first-ever "Tech Trek." Forty college students from across the nation visited nine companies, including Box, participating in a week full of workshops, company tours, and learning.
We were fortunate to host two events for the cohort during their visit. Upon their arrival on Sunday evening, we welcomed them at our Redwood City headquarters for dinner and a fireside chat with Tristan Walker, co-founder of CODE2040 and CEO of Walker and Company, and Aaron Levie. Aaron, myself and some of our engineers, mixed, mingled and snapped selfies with the students. It was a great way to kick-off the week!
On Wednesday, the students came back for a full day "Ideathon" to develop project proposals that would have a positive social impact. Boxers spent time with the group sharing meals, coaching them on their projects, and cheering on their presentations. I enjoyed sitting on the panel of judges that included Laura Weidman Powers, CEO of CODE2040, Yvonne Wassenaar, CIO of New Relic, and our own Darrin Alves, VP of Technical Operations. After an inspirational evening, we provided each group constructive feedback; though, to be honest, we learned more from our guests than we taught them.
It was a privilege to work alongside the students during both their visits and gave me hope that over time we will all benefit from having the diverse perspectives of more Black and Latino/a engineers in our organizations. They offered thoughtful solutions to issues ranging from financial awareness to civil rights, weaving touching personal stories into their pitches. As each student continues to hone his or her skills and speak their truth, they are trailblazing a path toward a more inclusive tech community. We're proud to partner with CODE2040 and support their mission to move the tech industry forward.