R&B Singer Ne-Yo Invests $2.3 Million Into Tech School

R&B singer/songwriter/producer Ne-Yo is now adding tech advocate to his plate of business endeavors. The Las Vegas native has stepped up to the plate in a time when his efforts truly matter most, as we see the dire need for diversity in tech-related fields. It is an action that joins the ranks of Google’s announcement of the opening of their Howard West Campus. With news that top tech companies like Uber and Facebook and even Google have a lack of diversity in their recent grad hires, Ne-Yo’s recent move to invest $2.3 million in the Holberton School is a major one.

An engineer himself, Ne-Yo understands the plight of growing up black and perhaps not having the right opportunities open up to you to show you the possibilities of tech paths. As Ne-Yo told Business Insider, being an engineer “is not a realistic career for people who came up like me. It’s more realistic to do what I do, be a singer or an NBA star.”

The Holberton School is a coding school where students learn how to code with no upfront cost. Students there exchange paying a traditional tuition with giving the school 17% of their salary for three years once they get their first job post-grad. What also makes them different from other coding schools out there is that their programs are intensive and extensive. In fact, students must attend class for up to two years.

In terms of diversity, their current class is made up of 40% women and 53% people of color.

Per Tech Crunch, Ne-Yo told the publication, “I just love the fact of what they’re doing with the school. They’re making it easier for underrepresented people in the world of tech. They’re giving them a platform and access to this knowledge that they probably wouldn’t get otherwise.”

He went on to add: “Tech is changing by the second, so it makes sense to get the people that live in the world to be part of this thing that’s changing it, as opposed to just this one group of people.”

Photo Credit: PR Photos

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.