Please Welcome Space City Tech
Senior Maria Cruz at Lamar High School is one of many people with the desire to help locals in her community and one of many with a love for computer science. This led her to create her nonprofit organization Space City Tech, a nonprofit in which educates students on coding, technology, and computer science.
Space City Tech’s mission is to educate kids and teens in the Houston area about skills they will need in the 21st-century workforce. The nonprofit offers free computer science education and mentorship programs to students who want to learn more about technology.
“At Space City Tech, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to learn how to code, regardless of their background or financial situation,” Cruz said. “That’s why our services are open to everyone, and we work tirelessly to provide access to high-quality computer science education to understand communities.”
Inspired by HackClub and young advocates who have the same goal of spreading education on technology to local youth, Cruz and Lamar senior board members Ibraheem Razouki and Yoshitaka Ren worked together to bring Space City Tech to life. HackClub aided Cruz and her team with a tax exemption bank account to begin their nonprofit journey.
“We were inspired by other young advocates and the goal of inspiring youth to establish a healthy relationship with technology, one where they can be architects or engineers right on their laptops,” Cruz said. “By partnering with local schools and community organizations, we aim to create a vibrant ecosystem of young technologists who are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the digital age.”
Space City Tech was recently recognized in a nationwide contest hosted by T-Mobile. The contest allowed participants to compete for seed money and mentorship for long term support for their projects. Given the large size of the competition, it was very intimidating for Cruz. In her opinion, other competitors were just as deserving, like the AimToAid nonprofit organization where high schoolers assist Muslim refugees arriving in Houston and the United States.
“The competition was very intimidating to say the least; as an applicant you don’t expect to be chosen out of the amazing pool of talent entering the competition running upwards 600 applications all having established work generating change in their own communities,” Cruz said.
The chosen applicants will receive $5,000 in seed funding from T-Mobile and a trip to T-Mobile headquarters in Bellevue, Washington for the final round of the competition. The competitors were able to pitch ideas for various T-Mobile executives to secure additional funding. All the applicants will gather together in Bellevue for a chance to win up to $15,000.
Space City Tech plans to expand to where it will thrive while the founders are off to college. Cruz, Razouki, and Ren are working with T-Mobile to establish donation centers at T-Mobile stores for old technology donations. The team will continue networking in hopes of working with other large corporations to grow. Others are encouraged to join the team via email at [email protected].
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