Prepare more than 200 Americans from underserved communities for long-term careers in technology with Per Scholas and Focusing Philanthropy

As always, Focusing Philanthropy covers all overhead costs. 100% of every donation will go to the 2019 Tech Powered By Families Campaign.


While the U.S. job market has improved since the financial crisis, high unemployment rates persist in low-income and minority communities. For example, in January 2018, the unemployment rate in low-income communities was more than double the national average (10% compared to 4.1%). Several barriers—including low educational attainment, low job quality, lack of childcare, housing instability, limited transportation access, health problems, criminal justice system involvement, and discrimination—prevent jobseekers from finding well-paying roles and contribute to the following surprising statistics:

  • Nearly half of all U.S. workers (and between 50-60% of people of color) earn less than $15/hour
  • Almost 90% of U.S. employers do not think graduating students have the skills their businesses need
  • Only 15% of the tech workforce is African American or Hispanic, and women of color account for just 3%


Focusing Philanthropy and Per Scholas are partnering to prepare more than 200 Americans from underserved communities for long-term careers in technology. The “Tech Powered By Families” campaign will fund four new Per Scholas classrooms in 2019—adding 92 seats and the annual capacity for three additional training cycles at its locations in Atlanta, The Bronx, Columbus, and Dallas.

Per Scholas works with local partner companies to specifically train students for jobs relevant to employer hiring needs. Its proven model of intensive, tuition-free training, placement, and career development provides graduates with a direct on-ramp to tech careers in 19 weeks or less, while offering employers access to a previously untapped talent pipeline of highly skilled, hard-working adults from non-traditional backgrounds.

Since 1995, Per Scholas has trained more than 9,000 people and achieved powerful results year over year. Program participants are 90% people of color and 30% female. After graduating, students typically earn 400% more than they did before attending the program, with first-year salaries averaging $36,000. Most importantly, graduates learn skills and gain industry certifications that help them advance in their careers and increase their salaries each year they continue working in tech.


From January 25 to December 31, 2019, every $1 raised by Focusing Philanthropy will be matched with $2 raised by Per Scholas, until the campaign goal of $600,000 is reached.

To qualify for the match, donations must be directed to Focusing Philanthropy and a minimum of $1,000. Donations are fully tax deductible and 100% of funds contributed will go to the “Tech Powered By Families” campaign. All Focusing Philanthropy costs are covered by its founders.