Category Archives: Social Impact

General Assembly’s Global Community

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General Assembly is an international community, made up of over 1 million technologists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators, and creators from all over the world. GA was was founded on a global vision of the world that represents how people today work and live — and it’s clear that the future of tech, innovation, and entrepreneurship will only reach its full potential through a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Our community gathers at many of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world, like Atlanta, London, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Sydney, and Toronto. We strive to ensure that the GA community is not just a reflection of the world today, but of the world we want to see in the future.

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A Year in Review Part 2: Diversity, Access, and Social Impact

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General Assembly Social Good Black Girls Code Workplace Diversity

This year we partnered with Black Girls Code to increase access to STEM education. Photo courtesy of Black Girls Code.

With a mission to close the global skills gap and help people pursue work they love, General Assembly strives to create opportunities that impact a vast range of communities.

This year, we were proud to voice our support for access to education and inclusive hiring in the media. We spoke out about promoting computer science education through the Computer Science for All Initiative, and released a white paper on skills-based hiring. We partnered with many innovative organizations to make a difference in the tech sector, launching new campaigns and programs to promote equality in startup funding, champion computer science education for kids, help New Yorkers get well-paying data jobs, and much more.

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General Assembly Joins Tech Gives Back in National Day of Service

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Tech Gives Back General Assembly 2016

Members of the General Assembly community in New York get their hands dirty in the Bronx for Tech Gives Back.

Earlier this fall, about two dozen of General Assembly’s New York employees stepped away from their desks to visit two schools in the Bronx. Most of the group got their hands dirty by gardening, painting a mural, and setting up a new greenhouse at P.S. 30 Wilton School, while the rest helped students at P.S. 171 Patrick Henry pitch business ideas.

They joined more than 250 volunteers across the country — including GA employees in San Francisco — in donating more than 1,000 hours of service in one day as part of Tech Gives Back. The annual service event brings together tech companies across the country to provide much-needed help to local organizations.

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General Assembly and Adobe Team Up to Bring New Talent to the Tech World

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General Assembly Adobe Digital Academy

Adobe Digital Academy students on the General Assembly campus in San Francisco

General Assembly is proud to be partnering with Adobe in the development of the Adobe Digital Academy, a Bay Area–based program focused on offering opportunities in technology to underrepresented communities. Adobe supports high-potential candidates through partnership with General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund and Adobe technical internships. Selected candidates receive Opportunity Fund scholarships for General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive (WDI) course followed by a three-month technical internship in Adobe’s offices, with the goal of hiring interns for a full-time position.

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Volunteer Assembly: New York Common Pantry

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At General Assembly, we pride ourselves on empowering those around us to find greater well-being in their daily lives, both in the classroom and beyond. At times, this growth can be inspired by something as simple as a healthy meal.

On a recent Tuesday, our team at GA NYC skipped its usual weekly Team Lunch — where we share a meal and learn about each other’s work — to help feed fellow New Yorkers in need.

For the second year running, team members swapped hairnets for funny hats, stacking up more than 500 sandwiches for the New York Common Pantry (NYCP). The nonprofit’s mission: “to reduce hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency.”

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From Phone to Mailbox: General Assembly Grads Reinvent the Traditional Postcard with Pennypost

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Send a postcard from your phone with pennypost

When General Assembly students graduate from their course — whether it’s user experience design or data science — it’s always exciting (and sometimes surprising) to see the range of products and passions that actualize as a result. In the case of Nathan Maas,a Web Development Immersive alumnus of GA Seattle, the product was an idea called pennypost. The passion? Connecting the world with homemade digital postcards that are easy to send and share.

Nathan—who took a range of night classes in product management, front-end development, and data science at GA before choosing WDI—developed a web (and soon-to-be iPhone) app, pennypost, which was inspired by his travels to nearly fifty countries across the globe. Though he bought postcards everywhere he went with the intention of sending them home, constraints like time, postage, and tracking down mailing addresses, meant he never actually sent them. An idea was born.

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Happy Memorial Day from General Assembly

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Memorial Day at General Assembly 2016

Every spring, Memorial Day gives Americans the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by our nation’s servicemen and servicewomen who have given their lives for our country. What began as “Decoration Day” in the aftermath of the Civil War was renamed Memorial Day during World War II as an opportunity to honor all Americans who died in military service. It became an official national holiday in 1971.

As a veteran myself, I’m keenly aware of the importance of recognizing those who gave their lives for our country. Today, our armed forces numbers over 1.3 million service members across the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The sacrifices made by military personnel in our current active military operations are enormous — 52,345 lives lost. You can read some of their stories, and reflect on the sacrifices they’ve made for our country, on the Washington Post’s powerful and heartbreaking Faces of the Fallen site.

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Ohio State Student Gets Immersed in Tech to Follow Her Passion for Social Impact

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After a week spent prototyping and iterating her app idea, Erin Hallerin is using her new technical skills to become a more well-rounded social entrepreneur. She is one of our younger alumni, but still participated in the winter Tech Intensive in Sydney after an inspiring visit to the New York campus with her classmates from The Ohio State University. Now, back at college, Erin is working with a social impact-focused food truck and making plans for the summer while finishing her studies in Business Administration/Finance and International Economic Development.

“The Tech Intensive creates an environment of inspiration and dedication to inspire you to act on whatever business idea has been floating around in your brain with the help of the best brains in the industry.”

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MLK’s Legacy: Celebrating the Next Generation of Activism

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TEN_GA_675 Ponce De Leon (22 of 31)

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday (he would have been 87). Our campuses are closed in the states in honor of the holiday, which gives us a chance to reflect on his commitment to social justice and his legacy of activism.

Here at General Assembly (GA), we care a lot about diversity, inclusion, and community. Every week, we bring creators and thinkers together on our campuses to drive social impact and build a more diverse tech ecosystem. Our alumni found startups and nonprofits promoting social change. Our Opportunity Fund scholarship programs empower a new generation of diverse tech talent – over the last year and a half, General Assembly gave out $1.25 million in scholarships. Continue reading

Meet Lady Mafia: Two Female Makers on a Mission to Change the World

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Gaby Ruiz-Funes Sarah Bump Lady Mafia

For Gaby Ruiz-Funes and Sarah Bump, learning web development was not just a pathway to a new career, but a creative spark that would lead them to start a movement. Since graduating, the pair has led the charge of creating a network of individuals comprising the Lady Mafia project. Together, they highlight women and men who are agents of change and who make the world a better place through their hard work and innovation.

Sarah came from a marketing background and Gaby was working as an industrial engineer before enrolling in General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive course in Chicago. “I was a little lost,” Sarah said. “I knew I didn’t want to stay in that field, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do instead.” Gaby was already intrigued by web development but realized she needed a structured environment to learn brand-new skills. “As an engineer I was trained to be able to create the things that were in my imagination,” Gaby said. “It felt frustrating to be limited on the web and I wanted the tools that would help me create the apps and websites that I imagined, especially those I hoped would help make a positive impact on the world.”

When the two met during their course, they started a friendship that would become the basis for their project — Lady Mafia, a website that aims to catalog humans who are “moving the earth.” We caught up with Gaby and Sarah to learn more about their experience as the super-cool founders of the Lady Mafia movement.

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