Verizon Foundation, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro to Launch ‘Code as a Second Language’ Initiative

Program to Teach Computer Coding to Springbrook High School Students Will Be Detailed on Wednesday, Dec. 2

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 1, 2015—The Verizon Foundation, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, will launch the “Code as a Second Language” (CSL) program at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring. They will offer details of the program that will introduce and teach computer coding to high school students over an eight-week period. The program also will expose the students to tech professionals who will be able to serve as mentors. 


The program will be introduced in the media center of Springbrook High, which is located at 201 Valley Brook Dr. in Silver Spring.


The CSL initiative will also be executed by the Verizon Foundation and HHF at schools in Northern Virginia and in Washington, D.C., as part of Verizon’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. CSL instructors are young programmers who are in HHF’s LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Network. The initiative is currently in about 50 schools in more than 15 regions across the nation.  

“Driving the CSL effort is the belief that all youth deserve access to technology-based programs and have an opportunity to enter the workforce in a stronger position which will help America move forward,” said Antonio Tijerino. “The Verizon Foundation and Councilmember Navarro share that vision and we are grateful for their leadership preparing our youth to be innovators.”


Councilmember Navarro, who serves on the County Council’s Education Committee, said: “We are making investments in the retention and creation of jobs through the adoption of Master and Sector Plans that position Montgomery County as a global technology destination. I am thankful to HHF, Verizon, and Montgomery County Public Schools for engaging in initiatives like Coding as a second Language which will train our students, especially those from communities that are underrepresented in STEM fields, to become part of the creation of a qualified workforce pipeline.”


Although there will be a need to fill nearly two million tech jobs within the next five years, 90 percent of schools in the U.S. do not teach coding.  The CSL initiative is designed to fil that gap.

Mario Acosta-Velez, Verizon’s director of State Government Affairs, said: “Verizon is proud to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to implement the Code as a Second Language program.  Our goal is to help build the students’ coding skills and increase their interest and engagement in STEM-related fields and careers.  We want to help prepare our future leaders for the 21st Century by fostering collaboration among students, enhance their problem-solving skills and provide a solid introduction to STEM.”

The CSL initiative includes identification of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in collaboration with schools; baseline survey of students’ knowledge to test progress throughout CSL course; guest speakers from the technology industry; engagement of private and public sector volunteers; eight sessions; hands-on assistance for students working on course material outside of class time; soft skill development such as leadership and collaboration; work-based learning such as building actual products and presentation to peers; and certifications upon completion. 


The students also will be funneled to the award-winning LOFT Network for ongoing on-line instruction and will be connected to other students, mentors, networking, resources, STEM-related events, and later, internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions.

HHF’s award-winning LOFT (Leaders On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 “tracks,” or fields including Innovation and Technology, Science, Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Media and Entertainment and Latinas. HHF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has offices in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. The LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.

Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 108.6 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide. A Dow 30 company with more than $127 billion in 2014 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 176,200. For more information, visit


For additional information, contact Alberto Avalos of the LOFT Institute at or 323-397-9862.


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