It's iD Tech's 22nd Birthday: A message from our CEO

iD Tech in action

To our iD Tech community:

It’s been a year unlike any other, and we are grateful to have a lot to celebrate as we kick off 2021.

Our team, our community, and our world faced challenges in 2020 that demanded innovation, and I am proud to say that we did that and more.

This past year required rebuilding and reinventing on a scale not unlike the early startup days of iD Tech. In the early days of our company, there were no maps, guidebooks, or guarantees; we had a vision and a determination to make it happen.

22 years later, we find ourselves in uncharted territory once again. After decades of running in-person programs, we needed to go back to the drawing board in a major way – back to our vision and our “why,” and back to that sense of determination.

And we did.

Why? Two reasons.

One, we did it because our key differentiator is our people, a team ready and willing to rebuild and reinvent iD Tech. The simple fact that we are now building and developing the ability to thrive in 2021, 2022, and beyond is amazing. It’s a testament to the iD Tech family, our work ethic, and our belief in our vision and in one another.

Two, we did it because we believe that kids deserve access to awesome STEM experiences, especially in challenging times. Technology was more instrumental than ever in helping kids connect, learn, and grow.

A world of distance learning also poses unique challenges; technology is key, but it can also be limiting.

We asked ourselves: how can we bring a 3D learning experience to a 2D screen? How do we bring the magic of camp to a fully virtual environment? In answering these questions and more, we challenged ourselves to meet the moment. 

I’m proud to say that we provided safe distance learning in all 50 states and in 135+ countries, culminating in 1.5 million hours of world-class virtual education. We launched our first ever Virtual Tech Camps and ramped up our Online Private Lessons

In all, we were able to provide STEM experiences to 75,000 kids in 2020, and we’re working every day to see that number grow in 2021.

Our 22nd anniversary prompts reflection not just about milestones and the amazing kids and families we’ve had the privilege to work with so far, but also about where we’re headed.

We’re taking the same innovative spirit that brought us here to build momentum and create a bright future in STEM education. That means advocating for the changes needed to make tech a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable space. 

We are committed to being a change-agent now, today. Some of the steps we’ve recently taken to increase diversity and equity in tech include:

-Donating $1,435,000 in scholarships and computers to underserved students during the COVID pandemic.

-Partnering with more than 50 organizations to provide program funding, and joined forces with over 200 nonprofits to offer scholarships to underrepresented students. Through these efforts, we delivered 1,391 educational experiences to kids.

-Leading three initiatives to reboot representation and access in tech: Coding Her Future, Coding Our Future, and Creating Our Future 

-Reimagining our inclusion council as J.E.D.I (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) to increase equity, inclusivity, and representation across STEM fields and within our own culture.

I recently came across a statistic that paints a picture of the world kids are preparing for: 87% of executives identify skill gaps in the workforce or expect them within a few years. We believe that empowering kids with technology skills will not only fill those gaps, but also give them the tools they need to become the next generation of leaders.

I know I can speak for the entire iD Tech family when I say that we’re looking ahead with a strong sense of purpose. While we don’t know what the future holds, we’re entering 2021 more agile than ever, and we’re excited to build the future we want to see for kids in STEM. 

Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy start to the year,

Pete

A photo of Pete

Pete has been at the helm of iD since 2000. He resides in Silicon Valley. Pete has a love of design and is passionate about creating memorable experiences for kids. By day he is CEO, by night he is a youth soccer coach and chef of the house. Pete studied at UW in Seattle and worked abroad in Spain. He is fluent in Spanish, but his kids think otherwise. The best part of the job? Seeing the kids advance from tech novices to studying at top Universities and landing big-time jobs.