SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Helping defray costs while students attend the San Francisco-based Holberton School, a prestigious two-year higher education school for software engineers, the school announced that local student Kristen Loyd has been accepted for an Accenture scholarship, while Olatope Agboola, Lindsey Hemenez, and Miranda Evans have all been awarded scholarships from Google, presented by Vint Cerf, co-father of the internet and vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google.

The CloudNOW STEM Scholarship funded by Accenture, Google, and Scality announced in September, helps students to pay for living expenses while attending Holberton.

While the school is free to attend (students are asked only to contribute a percentage of their salaries to the school for the first three years of their post-Holberton employment, giving back to the next generation of students) the school recognized it can still be challenging to manage the cost of living in Silicon Valley.

"Holberton gave me another path after my goals were no longer served by traditional education, despite leaving me with a mountain of debt,” said Loyd, 26, of Brentwood, CA. Loyd holds a BA in Liberal and Civic Studies and Education from Saint Mary's College of California and is a former account relationship manager at an investment firm. “My only challenge was making ends meet until I could find a job and now Accenture has stepped in and relieved me of a great burden, for which I thank them.”

According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, the total cost of living in San Francisco is 62.6% higher than the U.S. average—and housing is nearly three times more expensive than in other U.S. cities. Holberton School announced a partnership with CloudNOW to raise an initial scholarship fund of more than $40,000 to cover some of the basic student expenses in the Bay Area, removing yet one more barrier for students interested in gaining a unique opportunity to get a sought-after education and become highly-paid software engineers.

Agboola
“Tope”, originally from Riverdale, IL, has been able to conquer the Holberton curriculum while maintaining a full time job, a juggling act that even the most talented of students struggle to manage. And yet, she has proven that when you are motivated and willing to work hard, anything is possible.

Hemenez
“Linds” was living with her family in Elk Grove, California and commuted more than 6 hours a day from Sacramento to San Francisco. Making good use of her time on the train, she worked on projects and was able to excel beyond most of her peers. The grueling commute took its toll, and she eventually had to find a place closer to the school. Her commute has lessened, but her financial stress has increased.

Evans
Humble and inquisitive, Evans has held a myriad of jobs. She’s found her passion at Holberton and decided to put a pause on an income in order to commit herself to the school.

Launched in 2016, Holberton’s curriculum combines project-based and peer learning where students help each other to learn and reach goals. There are no lectures and no teachers, but instead tech mentors. Students acquire practical skills and an understanding of theory through hands-on learning. This guarantees that students possess the skills necessary for the technology industry's most demanding jobs. Holberton students have attained prestigious positions at some of the top tech companies in the US and around the world, working at companies such as Apple, Tesla, NASA, Dropbox, LinkedIn, IBM and more.

In less than two years, the school has grown from 35 students in January 2016 to more than 150. With an expected January incoming class of 65, the previous space, even with a generous donation of space from tech neighbor Gandi could no longer accommodate the growth. In January, Holberton will graduate its first “cohort” of students, 90% of whom already are already working at companies like Apple, LinkedIn and Dropbox.

The winners were announced at the 6th annual Top Women in Cloud event celebrating the leaders of Cloud, featuring ‘Top 10 Women in Cloud Award winners and the inaugural CloudNOW STEM Scholarship recipients from Holberton.

"The CloudNOW Scholarship Awards were created with the goal of enabling the next generation of female leaders in overcoming social and financial inequities in order to succeed in tech,” said Jocelyn DeGance Graham, CEO, CloudNOW. “Our Holberton scholars are exemplary in all ways--academically and socially--and we have every belief that they will be a catalyst for change."

About CloudNOW
CloudNOW is a non-profit consortium of the leading women in cloud computing, providing a forum for networking, knowledge sharing, mentoring, and economic growth. CloudNOW offers members the opportunity to creatively approach the technological challenges of cloud today, working in partnership with the tech industry and cloud thought leaders. To learn more, visit us at cloud-now.org.

About Holberton School
Using project-based learning and peer learning, Holberton’s mission is to train the best software engineers of their generation. At Holberton, there are no formal teachers and no formal courses. Instead, everything is project-centered. Holberton gives students increasingly difficult programming challenges to solve and minimal initial directions on how to solve them. As a consequence, students naturally look for the theory and tools they need, understand them, use them, work together, and help each other. Holberton School teaches how to learn instead of teaching a specific tool or programming language. Holberton School is based in San Francisco and supported by leaders from the technology industry. Go to www.holbertonschool.com to learn more.

Editorial Contact
Joe Eckert for Holberton School
jeckertflak@gmail.com