iD Tech collaborates with Snap, Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley and Eastside and the i.am Angel Foundation

iD Tech in action

As a company, iD Tech believes every child deserves access to life-changing experiences with technology. We are thrilled to announce that, in collaboration with Snap Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley and Eastside and the i.am Angel Foundation, we are one step closer to making this a reality. 

Or should we say, augmented reality. This spring, we’ll launch Creating Our Future, providing an opportunity for underrepresented youth to learn cutting-edge AR tech and build 21st century skills.  

Virtual reality and augmented reality are growing fast, and we’re excited to see these young developers  and designers explore it. 

“At iD Tech, we aim to inspire the next generation of creators through fun and interactive course offerings, taught by our rockstar instructors,” said Joy Meserve, COO of iD Tech. “Our collaboration with Snap, the i.am Angel Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley and Eastside will bring this creative course to 75 students who are poised to be changemakers in augmented reality and tech.”

Young people understand today’s tech better than anyone; they’ve never known a world without it! That’s exactly why kids of all backgrounds should have the tools to join the conversation about tomorrow’s innovations. 

Plus, currently, there is a shortage of tech experts to fill the current industry demand, and we hope this initiative will help fill the gap. After all, VR and AR are among the most exciting STEM careers of the future.  

It could not be more fitting that through this initiative, students will envision and create a unique, tech-infused reality using their new skills. Thanks to Snap, the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley and Eastside and the i.am Angel Foundation, 75 students will embark on a fully-funded, world-class learning experience in AR. 

75 new creators step into the Snap’s Lens Studio

75 students, aka “Snap Scholars,” will use expertly-designed iD Tech curriculum to make amazing creations with Snap’s Lens Studio. Scholars will create custom Snap Lenses, learn about augmented reality, build design skills, and create 2D art. 

It’s a lot to learn! Fortunately, this generation is already well-versed in the digital world and has a head start of background knowledge, a critical ingredient in learning something new. This natural expertise sets the stage for a meaningful learning experience that bridges existing and new skills. 

"We are so excited to launch Augmented Reality with Snap's Lens Studio, a new course at iD Tech, where teens will be able to draw, design and create their own Lenses. We have a generation of students who are camera natives, and our goal is for them to go beyond interacting with Lenses and to begin creating experiences," said Ricky Bennett, VP of Innovation and Partnerships at iD Tech. "For a generation that's grown up wholly digital, we believe this is a natural extension of their curiosity and understanding of the world they live, and now's the time for them to create."

Snap Scholars will also learn in an inspirational start-up atmosphere that befits their status as innovators. To enhance their experience, Snap and iD Tech have created a STEM Lab at the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel County and Eastside. By bringing the hardware to the young innovators, we remove access barriers, and Snap Scholars will have the STEM tools they deserve. When it is safe to do so, we look forward to having students in the lab!

The mentorship difference 

Each Snap Scholar’s journey will be completely personalized and guided by one of our tech rockstar instructors. In four 1-on-1 sessions, Snap Scholars will have the tools, technology, and support to fully realize their potential and create something to be proud of, motivating the scholars to keep making amazing things. 

This setting is ideal for learning a new skill, and Snap Scholars will enjoy customized instruction, confidence-building mentorship, and the many other benefits of 1-on-1 tutoring.  

But the inspiration doesn’t stop there. Snap Scholars can also participate in virtual monthly Snap Saturdays with Lens Creators. The students will meet experts in the field, hear their authentic stories, ask questions, and learn more about the field of augmented reality. Through these meaningful conversations, the Creating Our Future program seeks to inspire, spark curiosity, and help students envision a future for themselves in STEM. 

Creating a future of diversity and representation in tech 

For decades, Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley, has provided a safe space for young people. We could not be more honored to engage with them and bring tech experiences to amazing kids. 

iD Tech is also teaming up with i.am Angel Foundation to offer students a full scholarship for the course. If that name rings a bell, it’s because of famous founder and Black Eyed Peas front man, will.i.am! The Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley has a center in Will’s hometown, Boyle Heights, and his goal is to maximize the potential of the diverse community. 

We are committed to increasing equity of access and diverse representation across STEM fields. This is the next exciting step on that journey, and we can’t wait to see what the Snap Scholars accomplish! To learn more about this initiative, check out our feature from Lens Fest 2020!

A photo of Virginia

Virginia started with iD Tech at the University of Denver in 2015 and has loved every minute since then! A former teacher by trade, she has a master's in education and loves working to embolden the next generation through STEM. Outside the office, you can usually find her reading a good book, struggling on a yoga mat, or exploring the Rocky Mountains.