A Virgin Islander working in the tech industry has endowed a scholarship fund of $25,000 to support computer science students at the University of the Virgin Islands, according to a news release.
Cora Richardson is employed as the engineering project manager at Apple Inc. and her charitable foundation, AROC, provides resources to those interested in computer science and related technologies.
AROC provided the $25,000 endowment in October, and “through this endowment, two deserving students will be selected to receive a book scholarship in the amount of $750 through the UVI Bookstore.
Through other similar campaigns and initiatives, AROC hopes to lend additional support UVI students and residents of the Virgin Islands in general, according to the news release.
“Richardson, founder of AROC and native Virgin Islander residing in California, identified UVI as the charitable beneficiary of the funds, which are intended to support students majoring in computer science.”
“Cora spoke compassionately about her home (St. Thomas) and sincerely desired to make a significant investment in the lives of young Virgin Islanders,” Mitchell Neaves, vice president of Institutional Advancement, said in a statement. “Her life experiences in the tech industry allowed our discussions to develop a clear vision of the impact she wanted to share with this gift,” Neaves said. “Cora’s commitment to the UVI Cyber Security Program provides a perpetual resource for other Virgin Islanders to follow in her footsteps,” he said, reflecting on the impact of the gift.
“Computer science was a path to my career and there are not enough people in the field that look like me,” Richardson said in the news release. “I believe that there is untapped potential and there is more room for other career paths other than being a computer developer.” Richardson said it is her mission to get students involved in computer science and related fields. “I want to pique students’ interest. Basic scripting can help your job even if you are not directly in a computer science related field,” she said.
“I want to draw that out from people that computer skills are necessary to compliment the fields that they are already in.”
In addition to the endowment, Richardson is working on other plans, including implementation of “an iPad lending library to teach entry level and advance computer skills in the Virgin Islands,” according to the news release.