Opportunity Fund Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

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


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 Honored at MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition


General Assembly at MIT's innovation conference

Tom Ogletree, Director of Social Impact at General Assembly, presents our Opportunity Fund program at MIT’s Inclusive Innovation Conference. Photo: Dominick Reuter

General Assembly has an ambitious vision for the future. We’re working toward a world in which we can close the global skills gap, ensuring that everyone — regardless of social or economic barriers — has access to the training they need to pursue a career they love. To achieve this goal, we work closely with employers to understand the workforce they need, and then empower students and employees with these skills.

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Happy Memorial Day from General Assembly


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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Give Back This Season by Supporting Opportunity Fund Fellows


Since it’s inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has grown to encompass over 30,000 organizations around the globe that participate in a movement centered around generosity and gratitude.

This #GivingTuesday, we’re highlighting our mission to empower a global community to pursue work they love by opening up our Opportunity Fund to donors of all sizes. Opportunity Fund is General Assembly’s philanthropic fellowship program which allows individuals from underrepresented communities—with a special focus on women, people of color, opportunity youth, and veterans—to access our immersive courses, at no cost, and help prepare for jobs as junior-level web developers and UX designers.

Our Opportunity Fund fellows have transformative experiences and we’ve partnered with NationSwell to share one of those stories. This documentary follows Lyn, an early Opportunity Fund recipient who took full advantage of the scholarship to change her family’s life and give back to her community.

We’re incredibly grateful that we’ve been able to award more than 100 fellowships through our Opportunity Fund, thanks to the generous support of benefactors like AT&T, Capital One, and McDonald’s. That’s 100 individuals, who like Lyn, might not have otherwise pursued skills in technology. Lyn’s experience is only one of many amazing stories of transformation and we’re excited to continue to increase access to education opportunities and support a diverse talent pipeline.

Donate here to make a tax-deductible contribution to help the next generation of Opportunity Fund fellows. We’ll will match every dollar donated to underwrite the cost of more fellowships for the future leaders in technology and design.

Thank you for your support!


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



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


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


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

Combat Vet Turned Coder Helps Veterans Transition Into Tech Careers



Meet Jerome Hardaway, an Opportunity Fund recipient and Veteran who worked in marketing and design before enrolling in GA’s Web Design Immersive course in New York City. Now, Jerome is using his web development skills to build his own startup, FRAGO, which helps Veterans transition more smoothly into civilian life.

Learn more about Frago @FRAGO_US and keep up with Jerome @JeromeHardaway. Continue reading

All-girls Hackathon Aims to Change the World for Women


Hack Girls Rights

Students coding for change at IGNITE International Girls Hackathon in Oakland.


When I was awarded the Design For Change fellowship and officially became an Opportunity Fund fellow at General Assembly I felt a deep responsibility along with my excitement. One of the stipulations of the fellowship was to volunteer 100 hours in service to a local organization to teach youth some of the skills I learned in the User Experience Design Immersive.

I felt a responsibility to assist any young person with a similar background as me who wants to pursue a career in technology. I know how isolating it can be to feel under-represented in a field you desperately want to work in. The challenges to entering STEM careers can be discouraging to minority and/or female youth unless they have mentors who they can relate to.

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Coding For Change: Opportunity Fund Fellow Mentors All-Girl Hackathon



Students coding for change at IGNITE International Girls Hackathon at General Assembly in NYC.

This past weekend, I attended my very first hackathon, the Ignite International Girls Hackathon at General Assembly. The event, part of IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology, sets out to explore the roles of science and technology to advance gender equality in the tech field.

Unlike most first-time hackathon stories, I was not there to code myself.
Instead, I was there as a mentor for the event’s hackers—the incredible ladies of Girls Who Code. The global event called on girl hackers to help create websites or applications to identify, build, or increase access to safe spaces for women and girls—no easy feat.

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