By now it’s clear that the technology industry is facing diversity issues. These issues are even more intriguing when you consider that by 2020, traditional universities will only provide enough qualified graduates to fill 30 percent of tech-related jobs. This is why we believe General Assembly’s own philanthropic fellowship program, Opportunity Fund, represents a tremendous chance to create real impact and change.
Today we’re announcing some incredible milestones for Opportunity Fund, which we founded to help individuals from groups underrepresented in the tech industry—women, veterans, people of color, and those from low-income backgrounds—acquire highly relevant tech skills to find work they love.
Just last week, we announced with Capital One that we’re the flagship partner in their new $150 million Future Edge initiative to bring digital skills and career opportunities in tech to individuals from lower-income backgrounds across the US. A new group of benefactors is joining the cause along with Capital One — to the tune of nearly $500,000 in funding. These backers include Ashoka, Maveron, Kat Cole, Greg Gunn, The New York Foundling and the Kapor Center for Social Impact. They are all committed to supporting our mission of bringing access to technology skills to more people around the world.
Anyone—corporations, foundations, or individuals—can put money towards Opportunity Fund scholarships and are free to specify the groups they are particularly passionate about. Scholarship recipients pledge to give back 100 hours of their time, using their new skills to better their community. Over the past year, we’ve seen a number of amazing benefactors join the cause, including Alexis Ohanian, Dave McClure, PayPal, Microsoft, Google, and even the rapper Nas.
We are proud of our amazing Opportunity Fellows so far—and excited for the next fellows to join our community on our campuses all over the US, and the world.
Learn more about Opportunity Fund and get involved — as a benefactor, nonprofit, or prospective student — at http://ga.co/opfund.