Media Alert: Steve Ballmer to Address More Than 400 Minority Youth and Award Special Tuition Grants During 14th Annual Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 10, 2005 — On Feb. 11, Microsoft Corp. is hosting its 14th annual Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Minority Student Day in Washington, Texas and California. More than 400 minority high-school students interested in careers in the high-technology industry are expected to attend. Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft, will deliver a keynote address focused on opportunities for young people to drive innovation and solve tomorrow’s computing and business challenges. Ballmer is also expected to award two special BAM tuition grants to this year’s essay contest winners and take questions from students at each campus during a live Q & A session, which will be webcast to events in Mountain View, Calif., and Las Colinas, Texas.

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer and Senior Director of Finance CT Tomlin award a $2,500 tuition grant to Yusuf Beshir of Seattle for his first-place essay at Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day in Redmond, Wash., Feb. 11, 2005. Click image for high-res version.

Throughout the day, students at each location will participate in campus tours, career panels, hands-on technology demonstrations, product fairs and job coaching, and will learn about programs the company has in place to help support a diverse pipeline for IT talent, from BAM mentoring and scholarship programs to high-school internships and Microsoft’s college scholarship program.

“We’re always excited to host BAM Minority Student Day,” Ballmer said. “These young people have such great energy and potential — it’s invigorating just being around them. And it’s incredibly satisfying to be able to help them learn more about technology and how to succeed in the innovation economy.”

Special recognition and prizes will be announced during the keynote for this year’s first- place essay contest winners in Redmond and Las Colinas. First-, second- and third-place winners in both locations will be surprised with BAM tuition grants for essays they wrote on this year’s theme: Teens + Technology = Success. Twenty thousand dollars in tuition grants is being made available to each of the four locations hosting an event this year, for a total of 12 grants across the United States. Grants by BAM organizations from Mountain View and Charlotte, N.C., which will host its BAM event Feb. 25, will be distributed later this year.

Along with providing high-school internships, scholarships and outreach programs such as BAM Minority Student Day, the company has made a long-term commitment to digital inclusion, to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that young people and adults around the world have access to technology. Through the initiative Unlimited Potential, Microsoft provides cash, software and curriculum resources to community technology learning centers in more than 80 countries and more than 1,750 centers across the United States. The company also supports local organizations, such as Technology Access Foundation (TAF) and Yesler Learning Center in Seattle, and St. Philip’s School and Community Center in Dallas, that offer free or low-cost access to computers and the Internet and technology skills training. Microsoft has partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to help create ClubTech, a place for young people to learn to use technology.

Kiana Chambersexperiences the capabilities of a Tablet PC during Blacks at Microsoft Student Day, held inCalifornia, Texas and Washington Feb. 11, 2005. Click image for high-res version.

Founded in 1989, BAM has more than 500 members globally with active volunteers invested in the growth and development of their local communities. BAM supports higher education and career development for youth through partnerships and outreach aimed at increasing the pipeline of diverse future employees for the technology industry. The BAM scholarship program, established in 1992, and funded by members, connects students with BAM members for mentoring throughout their college careers. This program was made renewable in 2002 and grants $20,000 in new awards and renewals every year. Talented minority students also have the opportunity to apply for Microsoft high-school and college internship programs, which offer real work experience in the high-tech industry.

What: Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day

Where: Microsoft’s Las Colinas campus, Building 1

Microsoft’s Mountain View campus, Building 1

Microsoft’s Redmond campus, Building 33

Who: Student participants and members of the media

When: Friday, Feb. 11, 2004. Keynote speech from 11 a.m.–noon PST

R.S.V.P.: Mara Hobler, Waggener Edstrom, (425) 638-7000, [email protected]

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