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geeksgiveback1-logoThe Geeks Give Back campaign just got a nice boost.

Gary Rubens.
Gary Rubens.

Seattle angel investor Gary Rubens said on Thursday that he will match up to $125,000 in donations to Geeks Give Back, a new effort that supports low and middle-income students in Washington state to pursue STEM degrees.

Announced today at the GeekWire Summit, Geeks Give Back is a new program launched by GeekWire in conjunction with Bank of America to raise funds for the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS).

Together with Bank of America, we’ve set an ambitious goal to raise up to $500,000 over the next two months — money that will directly impact the technology industry by helping deserving students with much-needed scholarships.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship’s Megan Nelson and Gary Rubens.
Washington State Opportunity Scholarship’s Megan Nelson and Gary Rubens at the GeekWire Summit on Thursday. Photo by Britney Sheehan, Bank of America.

Rubens, who already donated $20 million to the WSOS earlier this year, said that matching donations helps others get inspired to support the next generation of technology workers — particularly those that may have a more difficult time entering the industry.

“If we give these students scholarships, four years go by, and they go work at Microsoft or Amazon or a startup and have an exit after that, then they can also give back,” said Rubens, who has invested in more than 70 local startups in the past two years. “It’s a perpetual cycle I’m trying to start with a lot of things that I’m doing.”

Last year, WSOS more than 780 scholarships were awarded across Washington state. Fifty two percent of all scholarship recipients are the first in their family to attend college, and more than 60 percent of scholarships go to women.

To hit our $500,000 goal, we need the tech community’s help, and we’re asking companies of all sizes to get involved by making a donation to WSOS.

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