Today we are announcing the pilot of a very exciting new program, which we are calling the Opportunity Fund. Our initial partners, Microsoft, Google, Hirepurpose and Nas (yes, the rapper), have all offered up generous scholarship funds to help veterans, women, and minorities become less underrepresented in the tech industry.
Ever since we founded General Assembly, we have held our community as the central element of our identity and values. As we’ve grown, our definition of community has expanded from NYC to other cities, and even to other continents. We have relentlessly pursued our mission to “create a global community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love,” but we know there’s a ton of work to do along the way.
One of the core challenges of our vision is to continually increase affordability and accessibility of what GA has to offer. We know how big of an investment our immersive courses are, and not everyone can afford them. Yet.
We have begun to aggressively pursue all sorts of ways to enable more students to participate in our community. This ranges from financing partnerships with interesting startups like Upstart and Pave, to offering more of our classes online through Front Row.
The Opportunity Fund is exciting for us because it represents a platform approach to funding students. We can enable many different entities, especially large corporations, to sponsor students’ training in skills so important to the tech ecosystem. Each beneficiary is then obligated to pay it forward by volunteering 100+ hours tutoring the next generation of coders in their newly acquired skills. This means that the impact of this program can extend way beyond our walls, and even more broadly into the world.
This is really only the beginning of our efforts – and solving the big sticky issues of inequality and monoculture in tech will take years of diligent effort and commitment. I can’t wait to have GA be part of that effort, and hope from this one program many more will develop in its wake.