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New Program to Increase Silicon Valley Internships for Black Students

To increase the presence of black students working as interns within Silicon Valley tech companies, a venture capital firm is leading an initiative to connect these organizations with students from historically black colleges and universities.

Unusual Ventures, an early-stage firm, announced the launch of its new Unusual Interns program on Wednesday. The program aims to increase diversity within these technology companies by placing students in various engineering roles.

Starting this summer, computer science students will get a chance to intern and try their hands at full-stack engineering, hardware, artificial intelligence, and machine learning at top tech companies in Silicon Valley, with chances of potentially getting a full-time job offer afterwards as well.

For the program, the firm has partnered with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), as well as with administrators from Spelman College, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, Hampton University, and Alabama A&M University.

“Because of our connections, location in the heart of the tech industry, and the work we do every day, the Unusual Interns Program is the logical next step to furthering our mission of driving change in our community,” John Vrionis, co-founder and managing partner of Unusual Ventures, said.

“It’s one thing to talk about diversity, but it’s another to do something to help. We are taking an active approach to bringing the change our industry so desperately needs.”

Before the internship periods begin, students will be given a chance to complete a six week spring boot camp hosted by Lambda School, helping them sharpen their skill sets and boost their effectiveness during their internships.

During the internship period, students will also receive professional and personal development trainings on a bi-weekly basis to help enhance their careers, and to ensure that they have both access to experts, as well as insight into future opportunities for them in their field.

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