Tribe Called T.E.C.H. Announces College Chapters

Tuskegee University & University of Washington

Tribe Called T.E.C.H. is launching its first college chapters at Tuskegee University and the University of Washington in collaboration with Databricks. This company helps organizations make their data ready for analytics, empower data-driven decisions across the organization, and rapidly adopt data science and machine learning. Tribe Called T.E.C.H. seeks to build upon our current professional development trajectory by expanding our focus to include a younger demographic of technologists and entrepreneurs.

Modeled after the Microsoft Student Consulting Program, formerly led by Rob Reed, Program Manager for Databricks University Alliances, this new effort of student engagement is well-positioned to aid the next generation of students of African descent at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) and PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions). They have similar and unique challenges when transitioning from the collegiate to the professional environment. This new effort reunites Mr. Reed and P.A.C.E. Founder Arif Gursel, who Mr. Reed mentored via the Microsoft Student Consultant program when he was a student at Tuskegee 20 years ago.

The Tribe Called T.E.C.H program will harness the power of the target chapters’ alumni network to facilitate professional development in five key areas beyond the college curriculum scope, namely: engineering, entrepreneurship, product development, business development, and enterprise sales. The Tribe Called T.E.C.H College Chapters aims to bridge the gap between theoretical education and applicable knowledge, thereby equipping and elevating students to enter the workforce more prepared and with access to careers often beyond reach upon graduation.

“HBCUs have been challenged with maintaining modern curriculums. Although students come well-versed in the theoretical knowledge of engineering and computer science, often, due to limited access to internships and mentorship opportunities, they lack the relevant knowledge. Our goal is to give students multiple opportunities to apply newfound skills in individual and group projects throughout the year. Our presence on the campus of the University of Washington will facilitate the learnings needed to aid the unique challenges of students of African descent at predominantly “white” institutions (PWIs) where black students are often “lost in the sauce.” - Arif Gursel (Founder of P.A.C.E.)

The college chapters will launch virtually this year due to COVID-19. While operating on the iconic Tuskegee University campus, the learning will provide the roadmap to successful scaling of the program for more campuses next year.

“The Tribe Called T.E.C.H program will help a lot of students. Not really knowing where to get started or how the industry works, this program will turn our theoretical knowledge into applicable skills,” says Ileecea Askew, Tuskegee Student Government President and Tribe Called T.E.C.H. Chapter lead.

About Tribe Called T.E.C.H.
Tribe Called T.E.C.H. unites tech talent across the African diaspora in one digital safe space. The organization supports all personal and professional development stages by increasing access to knowledge and resources that amplify the hiring, promotion, and retention rates of career-minded individuals. Tribe Called T.E.C.H has received support from companies such as Twitter, Microsoft, Netflix, Databricks, and F5 Networks. To learn more about this vital initiative, visit: