Amazon wants to give back to the community (Photo via Amazon)

 

Amazon is currently setting up their new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, and the response has been lukewarm at best. In an effort to give back to the community, the company has announced plans to fund computer science classes in more than 130 New York City area high schools.

 

Amazon will pay for introduction and Advanced Placement college-level courses across all five New York boroughs, which includes more than 30 schools in Queens, near their new headquarters. This initiative is part of Amazon’s Future Engineer program, which promises to fund computer science classes for over 100,000 underprivileged kids in 2,000 low-income high schools across the country. It also gives 100 students per year four-year $10,000 scholarships and offers internships at Amazon.

 

The company’s funding will cover preparatory lessons, tutorials, and professional development for teachers. They’ll also offer a full digital curriculum for students, along with online support for both teachers and students. Students will even get a free membership to AQS Educate, which offers free computer power in AWS Cloud for coding projects.

 

"We want to help make sure more children across New York City gain the coding skills necessary to have successful careers in many fields," said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “We will continue to invest in bringing these classes to more schools in New York City and across the U.S."

According to Amazon, they’ll be working with New York area curriculum provider Edhesive to bring the courses to schools. You can find the full list of schools that will receive the classes here.

 

With this new program, Amazon hopes to aid local schools where coding classes are scarce along with helping to instill an interest in students as potential employees years down the line. Of course, the company is trying to save face as well. When they revealed plans to open a second headquarters in New York, many citizens expressed their anger at the tax breaks the company would receive. Many are also concerned that having Amazon in the city will increase the already steep housing costs as well as interrupt plans for affordable housing, impact small business, and add to the already overcrowded transportation system.

 

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