Perficient Colleagues Volunteer to Train Aspiring Technology Enthusiasts
What happens when an interest is fueled by ambition and mentorship? For a group of Dallas high school students, it became a passion.
Perficient recently wrapped our first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Bootcamp with the Mark Cuban Foundation where Dallas area high school students learned the fundamentals of AI and machine learning. The bootcamp was held over four Saturdays and featured educational seminars, interactive lessons, and lab exercises where students learned what AI is and isn’t, where they interact with AI in their daily lives, the ethical implications of AI systems, and even built their own AI applications.
Training the Next Generation of AI Leaders
The Mark Cuban Foundation started the AI Bootcamp program in 2018 to educate high school students about AI fundamentals and to increase AI literacy and understanding. The program is specifically focused on recruiting students from underserved communities with a key concentration on introducing girls and students of color to the AI and machine learning space. This year, the program expanded to 15 bootcamps across the country offering simultaneous sessions that delivered training to more than 200 aspiring technology enthusiasts.
We proudly hosted a free AI Bootcamp where our colleagues volunteered as mentors for these ambitious students and educated them about AI technology and the problems it solves. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Mark Cuban Foundation, hosting future bootcamps, and training the next generation of AI leaders.
“One of the coolest things about our programs is that it’s not just lessons, but it’s also hands on,” said Ryan Kline, director of partnerships, Mark Cuban Foundation. “We have students in there today working with Microsoft Azure, using the same tools that some of the folks at Perficient use on a daily basis. Students are not only learning the concepts and the theories, but also real tangible skills that they can take into internships, into college, and into the workforce right away.”
AI Training for the Present and the Future
STEM education is in high-demand throughout the job market, and especially so in the technology industry. Introducing the foundational concepts of any technology is a great way to springboard an interest into a successful future career.
“I’ve always thought computer science/AI was just specifically one department,” said Aditi, AI Bootcamp participant. “Coming here, I wanted to see if there was any other way I could apply it to other subjects, and that’s something I feel like I was able to learn here.”
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The students who participated in the program walked away with knowledge about how they can harness the power of AI to build their own futures. They understand how these technologies are used and can be part of the conversation around how they are implemented into the future. More than that, they come away from the program being an informed digital citizen who understands where AI technology intersects in their day-to-day lives.
“My most favorite subject I’ve learned about is computer vision,” said Harshu, AI Bootcamp participant. “Everywhere I go I see security cameras and my phone detecting and recognizing my face, so I wanted to know how that works in more detail.”
Mentorship for Tomorrow’s Leaders
Perficient is comprised of more than 6,000 talented, driven, and generous colleagues. Individually and collectively, we’re passionate about using our time and talent to give back to the communities where we live and work.
Advancing STEM education is a key pillar of Perficient’s corporate giving philosophy, and our involvement with the Mark Cuban Foundation and the AI Bootcamps have proven to be a great program for both the high school students AND our mentors.
“Our employees have the opportunity to spend their time volunteering and helping lots of different community organizations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” said Erin Moloney, general manager of Dallas operations, Perficient. “This one in particular is something that’s really close to home and very closely aligned to their passion in what they’re doing in their career every day. They get to participate in something that they already enjoy.”
Congratulations to all AI Bootcamp Participants!
Your determination and ambition are inspiring, and we look forward to celebrating your future career growth.
To learn more about Mark Cuban Foundation AI Bootcamps and future sessions, visit MarkCubanAI.org.
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