It was a fierce competition, but we’re thrilled to announce that the winner of our 12 Days of Giving holiday campaign was The Taproot Foundation, a non-profit that drives social change by bringing professional services to nonprofit organizations, pro bono. They’ve just launched Taproot+, a new online marketplace for pro bono, bringing together resources and interactive tools to give nonprofit professionals direct access to the marketing, HR, IT, and strategy services they need.
It’s no mystery that the tech industry’s predominantly white and Asian male workforce is in danger of alienating the increasingly diverse nation — and world — that forms its customer base. Less than a quarter of people employed in computer science- and engineering-related fields are women, and only 1 in 10 are minority women. African Americans make up less than 3% of all scientists and engineers, and Hispanics only 4%.
At the same time, startups and tech companies are witnessing a never-before-seen shortage of employable talent, and current estimates show that by 2020, traditional universities will only be producing enough qualified graduates to fill 30% of available tech-related jobs.
2014 has been an incredible year for General Assembly.
We offered 36% more classes, workshops and events, 122% more total hours of educational programming worldwide, and grew our community (that’s you) by 203% compared to last year.
As a recipient of General Assembly’s Opportunity Fund Fellowship, it is a privilege to fulfill my responsibility to give back by volunteering 100+ hours of my time to the tech community. Working in partnership with All Star Code, a non-profit initiative that prepares qualified young men of color for full-time employment in the tech industry, I look forward to assisting in their efforts to provide mentorship, industry exposure, and intensive training in computer science.
The new year is fast approaching and resolving to make a difference in the world of programming has never been easier. Today hack.summit(), the world’s largest programming conference, announced hack.pledge(), a movement for programmers worldwide to assemble and mentor each other for one hour in 2015.
It’s no mystery that the tech industry’s predominantly white and Asian male workforce is in danger of alienating an increasingly diverse nation — and world — that forms its customer base. Less than a quarter of people employed in computer science- and engineering-related fields are women, and only 1 in 10 are minority women. African Americans make up less than 3% of all scientists and engineers, and Hispanics only 4%.
At the same time, startups and tech companies are witnessing a never-before-seen shortage of employable talent. Current estimates show that by 2020, traditional universities will only be producing enough qualified graduates to fill 30% of available tech-related jobs.
That’s why we created Opportunity Fund, a new program at General Assembly that provides scholarships, hands-on-training, and career opportunities to underrepresented groups around the world.
Since launching in April, Opportunity Fund has evolved into a passionate group of Benefactors and mission-aligned nonprofits supporting a more diverse and inclusive tech industry:
With the continued support of our growing list of Benefactors, we’ve been able to award 21 fellowships in 2014, with that number significantly growing in the coming year.
The overwhelming success of our pilot program in NYC enabled us to expand Opportunity Fund to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and now includes scholarships for two of our flagship full-time programs, Web Development Immersive and User Experience Design Immersive. We’ve also increased our scope to include women and minorities anywhere in the world who want to learn design to have a positive social impact on the world.
Not surprisingly, 100% of our first batch of Fellows to graduate are already in new jobs and passing on their knowledge to the next generation of innovators in tech.
2014 was just the beginning for Opportunity Fund, and we still have a long way to go. We are thrilled by the initial support we have received and the impact we have been able to make in just a few short months, and hope that you’ll continue to follow our journey in 2015!
I entered my first day as a programming mentor just as timidly as I had when I first started General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive back in June. After finishing the 12-week program, I was confident that I knew a lot about programming, but I was not-so-confident that I could pass on my knowledge to impressionable children.
However, as an Opportunity Fund Fellow with GA, I agreed to volunteer 100+ hours to mentor youth to impart the valuable skills that I learned during WDI, so mentoring was part of the deal, whether I was nervous or not. Luckily, the kids at CoderDojo weren’t nearly as scary as I’d thought, and I picked up mentoring right away.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on diversity in the tech world, primarily on the need to bridge the gender gap by making tech a more available and welcoming industry for women and men of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
As a Black woman working at a tech education startup, I’m thrilled that these conversations are happening. Reading through statements by companies promising to make diversity a top agenda item, I’ve seen the appalling statistics: Only 24% of engineers graduating from undergrad are female, only 1% of all startup founders are Black, and so on. Great organizations have sprung up to address the dearth of underrepresented groups in tech including: Girl Develop It, Code2040, AllStarsCode, Black Girls Code, and Railsbridge, to name a few.
Join General Assembly and United Purpose and for a night of intelligent debauchery as we celebrate our heroes with purpose and panache. Come dressed as your greatest inspiration, real or fictional. Yes, Mr. Peabody counts.
A little over five months ago, General Assembly announced the creation of Opportunity Fund, an innovative scholarship program aimed at providing transformative education and career opportunities to underrepresented groups.
The positive response has been overwhelming, both from partners like Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Alexis Ohanian, and others (even NAS!) pitching in to support the initiative and get involved, and from the numerous student applications submitted from around the globe. This enthusiasm from our community led us to take our initial pilot program in New York and expand it to San Francisco and Los Angeles this past summer.