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DataEthics4All Free STEM Program: AI DIET World 2021

``We want to level the playing field for everyone to enter Tech`` ~ Shilpi Agarwal

“We want to make these opportunities available for all students globally worldwide”

      ~ Shilpi Agarwal

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For SCT and test prep

...the prices are even higher, they go up to about $100 an hour! ~ Shilpi Agarwal

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“We want to have enough encouragement, support, and mentoring for students to be able to say yes to these opportunities, to say, Yes, I can do this!”

~ Shilpi Agarwal


About the talk


In this talk Shilpi Agarwal introduces DataEthics4All Free STEM Program for AI DIET World 2021. DataEthics4All is on a mission to level the playing field for entry into a tech career and to bring greater diversity to tech, by encouraging economically disadvantaged students to pursue STEM careers. To this end, DE4A has made the #5M5Y Pledge: aiming to provide leadership opportunities and support to 5 million economically disadvantaged students in the next 5 years. Support will range from free stem tutoring, and career technical education, to career guidance, free essay reviews for college applications and career technical education. Listen in on some of the great initiatives and exciting plans for the future, and hear how you can get involved to build a more fair and diverse tech landscape and society!






Hello, everyone, sorry about the technical difficulties, we are back live. And I wanted to share the DataEthics4All story and the free stem program that we have.


So as you know DataEthics4All is breaking barriers of entry in tech, that’s our biggest motto. We want to level the playing field for everyone to enter tech. Really make it easy. As you know, tech careers are one of the highest paying careers today. And like, you know, in Linda’s talk, she said once a child joins, or even in Mike’s talk today in the morning he said, hiring is such an important decision that changes the trajectory of not just that one person, but everyone around them. And I feel hiring is one such thing. But even before that education, also is the precursor to hiring changes your entire trajectory for yourself, your family and for generations to come. And so for students who are not economically, as privileged as some of the others who are economically disadvantaged, they are the first in their family to go to college, or first in their family to have an education, finish high school, they are naturally disadvantaged too. And if they are not encouraged to take on STEM careers and no role models or help in STEM fields; and if they lose interest in math and science early on, they are not going to choose STEM careers in their life, which is again going to affect the trajectory that they will be on. And so DataEthics4All l wants to change all that, level the playing field for everyone involved and for, for everyone to be able to really take on the stem as a career in life.


“Whether it’s a linear stem path or a nonlinear stem path, we want to make these opportunities available for all students globally worldwide.”



And so with that, I want to share a little bit. Yesterday, I shared the story of how DataEthics4All started, and how in less than two years with our leadership team, with the strong team of volunteers, with a strong team of our youth AI council, we have managed to make great strides and come to where we are today. And our work is not done, we have just begun.

“So last year, around Thanksgiving, we made a pledge of 5 year pledge to help 5 million economically disadvantaged students with leadership opportunities, free stem mentoring, career guidance, career technical education, essay writing, and lots of other things at no cost to students.”

And our goal, as I said, is to break barriers of entry in tech, build diversity in society, and to build a more equitable society. And we think that starting this at the grassroots level, we are introducing this program with sixth grade to 12th-grade students.

But as we are successful, and we build upon the success of this program, we want to even introduce this program to elementary school students. Because in our school here in sixth grade, there is a path which you can take a sixth grade regular math or an exponential math, six-plus. And then the seventh grade, you do seventh and eighth-grade math, or you just do seventh-grade math. So the trajectory changes from sixth grade onwards for somebody who enjoys math and science versus somebody who is just taking the course requirement at that level.

“And so we want to have enough encouragement, support and mentoring 40 students to be able to say yes to these opportunities. Yes to say, yes, I can do this. I love math, I am good at math, and I enjoy doing math. Math is easy. Math is fun.”

Those are the kinds of things and not just math. In sixth grade obviously it’s math, but and science but then it leads to a different like calculus A, B, B, C, and even AP classes, and even the chemistry honors all these honors and AP courses and all these computer programming courses, all of that starts from middle school, but then it in high school it really takes off biology, chemistry, calculus, pre-calculus, trigonometry. So all of these things are important that you know we set the ground rules, and help our kids be comfortable to ask questions and be able to find mentors that they can rely on.



So why exactly did DataEthics4All decide to start this program? Our AI Youth Council data ethics for all AI Youth Council, our team of dedicated youth leaders, Ronak Agarwal, and many of the other people who are in the leadership, Sarah Ghorbani. And all of these students came up to us and said, that, you know, they feel like, and this was right in the middle of the pandemic, and they felt like starting a tutoring program for students would be a good way to help give support to students who are falling behind.

More so in a pandemic because there is no help from teachers, they are not actually going to school, and so they cannot actually ask the teacher. Yes, there are all these tools available, that you can book a private time with your teacher to do all these things, but it was so difficult, it’s so difficult for students in person doing that, so imagine how difficult it must be for them to do it online and to ask for extra support online. And so, if you look at tutors.com…and so what is the alternative that may be augmented or supplemented with, supplement it with a professional tutor who can help these students.

“But tutoring is expensive and on average private tutors cost between $25 to $80 an hour. And for SCT and test prep, prep tutoring, the prices are even higher, they go up to about $100 an hour.”

And this is just online and if you go to an in-person tutoring center the prices are even higher, they are $250 to $200 an hour. And we know that it’s a stretch for some of our families to pay that kind of money for tutoring.


“Also, high poverty school districts get $1,200 less per student than affiliated school districts according to an address report. So if schools are not getting enough funding, their students are deprived of opportunities to learn at the same level as their counterparts.”

Smaller budgets mean less access to STEM-related resources, projects, technologies, and just driving interest and curiosity at this age, which is required for students. They cannot participate in robotics programs and all of that which costs, unfortunately.



So introducing our 10 pillars free stem program. Initially, as I said, we started the DataEthics4All STEM program through our youth council just offering free stem tutoring. Overtime when we spoke to many many schools today we are working on, I’ll show you, we are working with over 30 schools. And we have many youth volunteers and tutors who are willing to support and tutor their peers while they are on presidential volunteer hours for the community service. But it comes from a place of you know, helping others. And that is, I think they’re doing a great job with this grassroots of creating this desire and this privilege to help others. And so we started with just a free stem tutoring program, but I’m talking with these schools and the administrative staff of the schools, we quickly learned that most schools do offer some kind of homework help and support to students, especially for homework. Whether there is a homework center inside of school during recess time or during the lunch hour, some of them offer it after school at a dedicated time, but some kind of homework help is there.


“What our free stem tutoring program was doing or is doing is to help these students at any time based on their schedule and availability because some of these students are also working to support their families, or they’re taking care of their sibling while their parents work multiple jobs. So these kids are busy and they don’t have dedicated time to spend after school on learning. And so our program does that for them.”




But apart from that, what we realize is that there is a definitive gap in terms of career mentoring from counsel guidance and counselors in school. Because the caseload is so high for the school counselors at school and they are not able to give the personal, either one on one or even one to group attention to all these questions and career paths that students can be exposed to today, and they are available even linear and nonlinear stem paths that are available for our students today.


“Career counselors, unfortunately, do not have the time to go over those with every student. And so we’ve really felt that there is a big need, and a gap, for students to be offered career mentoring.”


And because DataEthics4All has a community of over 1000 leaders who are global and who are at the intersection of policy, data ethics, technology and social impact, they are the perfect role models and mentors who can help these students really not just talk about like a career day, but to actually come and have either a one to one or one to group talk with them, and project-based career mentoring with them


“And walk them through what it looks like to be an engineer, what does it look like to be a data analyst? What do they do on a daily basis? What are the five things that a stem and AI and ml engineer does on a daily basis, in his role in his job or her job today?”




So all of these are questions that our students are asking. And this program, the DataEthics4All 10 pillars program of our free stamp really helps them. Like number one is the stem career tutoring. Number two is career mentoring. Then we have project-based career mentoring, as I mentioned. We do offer career advice, one-to-one as well as one to group. We also have essay reviews, because as anybody who has gone through this high school and college application process, it really is a lot and it’s overwhelming. Just the amount of and the number of essays that you have to write the creations that you have to go to the common apps that you have two essays, number of essays that you have to write in the common app. It’s mind-boggling. And then your admission depends a lot on that not just on grades or your scores, but also on how your writing skills and your communication skills, and how well you have made an effort to the storytelling to put yourself out there, all those things matter. And so a little bit of help in that area could go a long way. And that’s why there is support and help that you would love to offer.


“Career Technical Education we have introduced again, I can’t rave enough about our AI Ethics Youth Council because they have actually developed three introductory courses, peer to peer courses.”


And I’ll share that in a minute on Introduction to AI ethics as well as data science. And they are available in our Data Ethics Institute to be taken for free, and on a certificate of completion. And also you can post it on your college application saying you have earned a certificate of completion on these courses through DataEthics4All.


Besides that, we also offer internships, summer internships and winter internships and anybody who has tried for themselves or their child to get business or tech internships for under 16 you might know that it is very hard and most companies are not willing to give that kind of role to students. And of course, it is very hard for us also because the students are young, and they don’t have that much experience, and there is a lot of hand-holding that needs to be done.

But we take on that as a challenge because this is an area this is a place where they can come feel a part of a community, get mentoring, look, connect with their peers, and also actually acquire the business and technical skills for an internship period. And just this summer, we have had over 18 students as summer interns, some Oxford scholars and high school interns


“This intern, high school intern in particular has on the silver because of the two months internship that he did with us he was able to collect and accumulate his volunteer hours and earn the silver medal of presidential Volunteer Service Award with us.”


And so this is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills and build your resume up. And to get fabulous college recommendations. Obviously, just like school, we don’t do it for everyone. But based on performance, yes, we do.



We also offer leadership opportunities our youth. Basically, they can volunteer with us and on the presidential Volunteer Service Award, they can start DataEthics4All club at their school, or their college. And basically, they can take the mission forward, start town hall discussions, bring courses, mentoring and career advice to their students. Everything that we do on the global platform online on DataEthics4All can be taken in person and be done. And we do have some youth leaders who have started these clubs at their school. And this is our first year doing that. And so next year, I’ll come back and tell you how many clubs we have and how that is going. So that is an ongoing effort. And we are really proud that we have started this.



So this is our 10 pillar program. And it’s a running joke in our team like we are always saying we have the pillars, we have the pillars for our, you know, our principles, our ethical principles, and now we have the 10 pillars for free stem program. So yes, we do have the pillars, because we feel like pillars are the most important step of the foundation, of a building. So we have the pillars, but now we invite you to come build with us.

“Come help build this bright future for our kids, and for the kids of our society. Come work with us, mentor with us, volunteer with us, help us build the next generation of ethics for leaders.”



And very quickly, I think we are already over time. So I’m going to breeze through these slides, which is telling you about you know, we have a dedicated free stem tutoring website where people can come with parents and students looking to be tutors to get to drink and sort on the subject, they need help. And they can pick the tutor that they like based on their personality and their geographic location. And they can go from there.


And like I mentioned our youth mentoring program, we are just starting this. There are many different ways of mentoring. So if you are willing to share your time and your expertise, please come and talk to one of us from the leadership team.

“We would love to have you as a mentor to our students. And we have different kinds of one to one group and project-based mentoring.”



These are the three courses that I was talking about AI Youth Council has developed. This is Introduction to Data and Artificial Intelligence, bias in data, as well as Tech Impact on youth.

And they have many other courses in the pipeline. We have designed many other things that we want. But we want to first see the results of this like how some of the students who have taken these courses and completed the certification have said good things about these courses that they learnt a lot. And now they feel equipped to understand what are the basics of this. So I would highly recommend all the students in your life to encourage them to do this is for at the high school level, these courses are designed for middle and high schoolers, so please encourage them to take this.



We have partnered with Oxford University and with the University of North Texas to again provide internship opportunities and to bring these linear and nonlinear STEM career paths for our students.


And we have hosted over 18 Oxford summer interns. So here are some things that our students are saying our interns are saying. You can read more on our website. This is the high schooler that I mentioned Devon Thomas, as well as our Sarra Hannachi she is from the University of Tunis.



These are some of the schools that we are working with.

“We have partnered with over not partnered but we are really working with more than 30 schools and their youth for tutors, volunteers in some way or the other.”

We are working with a lot of different schools. If you can help us connect with some schools and bring this program, you think DataEthics4All STEM programs will help students from your school. Please help us connect with them. These are some of the Presidential Awards that our students have on volunteers earned. There is an actual letter from the president, there is an actual medal that comes from the president’s office desk.


“So how much money do we need. We really need your support. And like I said, online tutoring costs 25 to $50 an hour. And if we want to support 5 million students, in five years, that’s going to be a big number.”

Even if we considered 80% of our tutors would be volunteers, and only 20% of our tutors would be paid, because we want this to be an additional source of revenue for the tutors themselves, as well as for representation of, you know, economically disadvantaged students to see that there are others, other leaders in the industry like themselves. So we want this to be and also for consistency. If we have paid tutors on staff, then there is a consistency in the life of a student, because we can say that these are the days that our student wants to be tutored. So all of that we need your help and support in that.

“And your support really goes a long way because $1,000 pays for STEM tutoring for one student for one year at the rate of $25 an hour. $5,000 pays for career counselling, college applications. $8800 pays for high school rising senior to get some paid summer internship. And a $10,000 pays for courier counselling college application process for high school students for the entire four years of high school.”



And this is just a small glimpse of you know what we need and how much we want to do for the community. And every penny helps. These are some of the programs that I briefly mentioned the things that we have done in less than two years.

“Our youth have been a constant center at all of these programs, whether it’s from town halls, to the institute. We had the summit last year where we had a fantastic panel on how social stigmas instigate racial injustice and it was a mixed panel of adults and youth.”


…Yeah, perfect. Okay. I’m going to wrap this up really quickly with the statement that you know, with your love and support of DataEthics4All what started as a small dream and initiative has grown, it has taken roots and it has really become a movement. And with that support, we have decided to start a new company called the DE4A Foundation, which is a Delaware public corporation benefit corporation with missions rooted deeply with the same mission of helping others and building strong STEM grassroots for everyone.



And with that, I’m going to say bye, and I’m going to welcome my next guest. Thank you everyone for listening.



Shilpi Agarwal, Founder DataEthics4All


DataEthics4All hosted AI DIET World, a Premiere B2B Event to Celebrate Ethics 1st minded People, Companies and Products on October 20-22, 2021 where DIET stands for Data and Diversity, Inclusion and Impact, Ethics and Equity, Teams and Technology.

AI DIET World was a 3 Day Celebration: Champions Day, Career Fair and Solutions Hack.

AI DIET World 2021 also featured Senior Leaders from Salesforce, Google, CannonDesign and Data Science Central among others.

For Media Inquires, Please email us connect@dataethics4all.org


Come, Let’s Build a Better AI World Together!