XR Terra Continues Successful Scholarship Program in 2021
XR Terra is accepting applications for scholarships for women and Black creators, further demonstrating its commitment to increasing equality and diversity in the field of XR.
“We realized early on that we have an opportunity to effect real change in XR by assisting groups that have been left behind in other tech fields,” said Hakan Satiroglu, co-founder and chief executive officer, XR Terra.
Almost immediately following XR Terra’s founding in 2019, Satiroglu identified four groups to assist and encourage through scholarships: women and Black creators as well as Latinx and immigrants. In 2020, thanks to $10,000 in funding from Unity Social Impact, which XR Terra matched with almost $20,000 in additional funding, over a dozen Black Creator scholarships averaging over $2,000 each were provided to students enrolled in XR Terra’s AR and VR developer and visual design programs.
For 2021, XR Terra has pledged to, at a minimum, double its funding for scholarships.
Sara Khorasani looked to XR Terra to gain the programming experience she needed to bridge the gap between her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical and civil engineering and the Ph.D. she is currently pursuing in human-computer interaction (HCI) and adaptive learning interfaces in VR. The scholarship she received to attend XR Terra’s AR x VR developer bootcamp further affirmed her studies — and she believes advocating for women to engage in XR now is critical.
“XR is truly at its infancy, so we still don’t know in what ways it is going to change the world,” said Khorasani, a co-founder of Gamyra Tech, a simulation technology startup with roots in Formula 1. “Bringing diversity to XR will ensure the creation of diverse experiences and hopefully the mass adoption of this powerful technology.”
A 2018 report from the Pew Research Center, “Women and Men in STEM Often at Odds over Workplace Equity,” found that although women have made significant gains in STEM fields, they’re still underrepresented in computer-related occupations, filling only 25 percent of those positions. While African Americans make up 11 percent of the U.S. workforce, they represent 9 percent of STEM workers and fill only 7 percent of computer jobs.
“The in-demand skills our students gain, and the professional portfolios they build, make them especially attractive for positions in VR and AR,” Satiroglu said. “Knowing that we’re doing our part to establish a trend of women and Black creators in XR is incredibly exciting.”
Scholarship applicants must meet set requirements, including financial need, have a passion for technology, and be admitted to XR Terra’s bootcamp program. To see if you qualify or to get more details about our programs, please visit xrterra.com or contact XR Terra at firstname.lastname@example.org.