Social Impact Category Archives - General Assembly Blog

“Let Dreams Evolve,” A Conversation with Kristian Nairn of Game of Thrones

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Fans of Kristian Nairn, known for playing the well-loved character of Hodor on the TV phenomenon, Game of Thrones, may be surprised to know that he’s enjoyed a thriving DJ career for the past two decades. His latest, and perhaps most notable, set being Rave of Thrones—an epic dance party that brings together die-hard Game of Thrones fans and music lovers from around the world.

We caught up with Nairn backstage at the Hard Rock cafe, right before he played a rowdy crowd of ravers and cosplay enthusiasts at this year’s Comic Con in New York City.

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Bridging the Diversity Gap in Tech, One Student at a Time

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Toptal developers are providing mentorship to Opporunity Fund fellows from around the world.

The White House estimates that there are half a million tech jobs available in the U.S. alone, meanwhile more than 5% of the U.S. population remains unemployed. There aren’t enough skilled professionals to assume these roles, and despite thousands of people learning to code, the tech workforce continues to be fairly homogenous.

Our society can only benefit from having a variety of people pursue work in tech. A more diverse workforce means more innovative ideas and stronger solutions. That’s why fellowships like General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund are working to make tech education more accessible to underrepresented groups like women, people of color, veterans, and individuals from low-income backgrounds. Students can apply for scholarships and support for our full-time, career-changing programs in either web development or user experience design.

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5 Companies Using Data for Social Impact

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Can data improve the future of our humanity? You better believe it. “Big data” is more than just big businesses. Every day, social impact groups are finding new and creative ways to act upon the information that they’re generating. They’re using data to surface new information, uncover underserved communities, and track performance over time. Here are 5 very different organizations that are using data, in new and creative ways, to improve the lives of people around them:

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NYC Pledges to Provide Computer Science Education to All Public School Students

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General Assembly is thrilled to celebrate a historic initiative in computer science education. On Wednesday, September 16th, New York City Mayor de Blasio announced Computer Science for All: Fundamentals for Our Future, which pledges computer science education for every NYC student within 10 years. In a partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, the AOL Charitable Foundation, and the Solomon Wilson Family Foundation, the move sets aside $81 million to make this program possible.

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What Does an Engineer Look Like?

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Credit: Isis Wenger

Credit: Isis Wenger

Isis Wenger wasn’t looking to start a social movement. But when her face appeared on an advertisement for OneLogin, where she works as an engineer, Isis quite literally became the face of gender diversity in the tech industry. And rather than shirk the publicity, Isis embraced her newfound celebrity and launched a social media campaign aimed at highlighting the pervasive inequalities of the industry.

Isis’ specific ad (one of four her company created) immediately generated heated discussion and controversy, which in turn has highlighted the sexism that continues to characterize this industry. Reactions ranged to comments on her appearance to doubts she actually worked at the company. It boils down to one unfortunate point: People have a set idea of what an engineer should look like, and Isis doesn’t fit that mold.

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Jump Start: Opportunity Fund Scholarships for Web Design Circuit Now Live

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GA co-founder and CEO Jake Schwartz receiving donation at CGI America.

GA Co-founder and CEO Jake Schwartz receiving donation at CGI America.

General Assembly’s mission has always been to help people everywhere pursue the work that they love. To expand that mission, we founded Opportunity Fund, a philanthropic fellowship program that provides hands-on education, mentorship, and career opportunities to underrepresented groups across the globe. Continue reading

General Assembly and AT&T Collaborate To Expand Opportunity Fund

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At GA, we always try to bring data to the conversation. The data around unemployment, particularly for low income youth, recent college grads and veterans, isn’t the kind of data we like to see. In the United States alone, there are nearly 6.7 million young people ages 16 to 24 who are neither employed nor pursuing education; additionally, 5.3% of all veterans are currently unemployed.

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GA is supporting children in Nepal—and we need your help!

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At General Assembly, we know the transformative power of education to change people’s lives for the better. And in light of the devastation from the recent earthquakes in Nepal, we are coming together to crowdfund support for relief efforts in the region, helping to build out much-needed educational facilities and shelters for children in the wake of the disaster. Continue reading

Bringing New Opportunity to the DC Community

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DC Innovation Opportunity Program partners at the event at GA’s campus

Today at our Washington, D.C. campus, we joined Mayor Muriel Bowser, 1776 and others to announce the DC Innovation Opportunity Program, to connect talented, low-income students with the resources, skills, and support they need to succeed in the careers of tomorrow. This exciting initiative is enabled with the support of partners such as the TDF Foundation, THEARC, Capital One, MedStar Health, and Microsoft.

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General Assembly Partners with Pledge 1% to Create a Community of Companies Driving Social Impact

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General Assembly is excited to announce a partnership with Pledge 1% and encourage your involvement. As part of General Assembly’s overall commitment to building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, General Assembly has built a relationship with Pledge 1% to help build stronger companies and stronger communities.

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