Technology & Innovation

By 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer-related jobs but only 400,000 graduates to fill them. The harsh reality in Sarasota County is that over 52% of our students receive subsidized meal benefits and don’t have the means to access technology training beyond the basic classes offered in schools.

We commit to providing innovative opportunities for all students—spanning from coding and digital production classes to real workplace internship opportunities to e-resources they can use to shine in class. In an effort to stay agile in the ever-changing world of technology, the Education Foundation is leveraging cloud computing to offer innovative enrichment courses for students and teachers. The Technology and Innovation Task Force, comprised of the sharpest business people and thought leaders in the technology industry in our community, advise the Education Foundation on new approaches to help our students. Our annual #SRQHacks Hackathon bridges the technology gap for underserved students by connecting them with talented mentors from the technology and design industries and tasking them to create an app or website that addresses a community issue. We recognize that our students need to be lifted up outside of school to truly see that they are capable of anything they set their minds to.

Our students aren’t the only ones who need our help. Sarasota County Schools’ teachers need support and training to make the most of the digital resources that can take their classrooms to the next level. In 14% of schools in Florida, more than half the number of teachers are beginners when it comes to using technology. We’re working to provide innovative professional development opportunities so teachers are on the cutting-edge of technology education. Pilot "Train the Trainer" courses preparing teachers to offer AP Computer Science courses in their schools are currently underway.

To get involved, please contact Jennifer Sams at