Gates Addresses Seattle-Area High School Students at Minority Student Day

Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates addresses over 100 Seattle-area high school students at Microsoft’s ninth annual Minority Student Day.

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 10, 2000 — Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates today joined Microsoft employees to encourage Seattle-area minority students to pursue careers in technology at the ninth annual Minority Student Day. Speaking to over 100 students from Seattle public high schools, Gates noted how “Generation I,” the first generation of kids to grow up with the Internet, has a unique opportunity to use computers to work and learn in fundamentally different ways than their parents did.

“When I was a student, computers were large, expensive machines used by big companies. Nobody saw them as something individuals could use,” said Gates. “Now, it’s clear that computers have become personal tools for empowerment.”

“I’m envious of the access that kids today have to computers — and to the knowledge they can provide,” he added.

Gates encouraged the students to take full advantage of their schooling and consider a career in technology. “The majority of opportunities created by the evolution of the PC are still to come,” he said. “We need super-smart people to help us create new technologies that will revolutionize the way people do business, learn and communicate.”

Sponsored by the Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) employee group, the ninth-annual Minority Student Day is geared towards motivating local minority students to pursue information technology careers. Students spent the day learning about emerging technologies, meeting a variety of Microsoft employees, touring the new Microsoft Home, an education lab, and sampling some of the company’s newest games. They also learned about the company’s internship and scholarship programs, which enable students to get relevant, “hands-on” experience in the technology industry and support for their college education.

“We are excited about educating these kids about the different career paths open to them in the field of technology,” said David Rives, chairman of the Minority Student Day program. “We hope to strike a chord with the students to explore the technology they find interesting.”

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