In today’s dose of feel-good news, The Helen Gurley Brown Trust has announced their plan to donate $7.5 million to the American Museum of Natural History to benefit young women. The funds will go towards the creation of a new program, called BridgeUp: Science, which aims to target under-privileged youths and women in New York, offering them educational opportunities through coding and computer science. And not only will this new program foster growth in the computer science sector, it will increase mentorship opportunities for the individuals involved.
The program has five parts to it: Brown Scholars, Helen Fellows, After-School Middle School Program, Entrepreneurial and Research Projects, and Computer Science Faculty. Each program will be dedicated to serving a particular age group. To wit: Brown Scholars will foster the education of 30 or so high school students, while the Helen Fellows will have three to four college students serve as teachers and mentors to the rest of the program. The BridgeUp program will be helmed by program director Christina Wallace. In a statement she explained: “The shortage of people, especially women, with computer science skills needed in today’s economy is something I am thrilled to help reverse. The BridgeUp: Science program will not only encourage community and pride in the industry but will also encourage innovation and discovery through magic grants.” The Helen Gurley Brown Trust was created by the late editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and her husband David Brown with the intention to further education and technology in New York. Other generous gifts from the trust include $38 million donated to Columbia and Stanford Universities for a media-based program and $15 million to the New York Public Library for at-risk youth.