Phone2Action graduates another class from its civic tech fellowship program - Technical.ly DC

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Aug. 26, 2019 12:15 pm

Phone2Action graduates another class from its civic tech fellowship program

The Arlington, Virginia-based civic tech company hosted 30 participants this year for its annual Civic Tech Fellowship Program.
Phone2Action wants to help get you registered and to the polls.

Phone2Action wants to help get you registered and to the polls.

(Photo by Flickr user Paul Sableman, used under a Creative Commons license)

Phone2Action recently graduated another cohort of civic technologists from its summer fellowship program.

Phone2Action is an advocacy software company that curates a mobile app so public affairs groups can interact with their followers to help them communicate with lawmakers on political matters.

From June to August, the Arlington, Virginia-based startup hosted 30 participants for its 2019Civic Tech Fellowship Program, a STEM-based apprenticeship for entrepreneurs working at the intersection of tech and civic engagement. Accepted applicants get a chance to work in Phone2Action’s product, engineering, sales, marketing, operations and customer success departments.

The program launched in 2015 and Phone2Action cofounder and COO Ximena Hartsock said in a blog post that the program puts an emphasis on attracting minority, disabled, low-income and special needs applicants who are passionate about this work.

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“The goal of the Civic Tech Fellowship Program goes beyond Phone2Action, providing people who want to join the industry with hands-on experience they may not get elsewhere,” Hartsock said.

During the program, fellows presented to the Phone2Action staff in a brown-bag series every Friday to showcase their progress. The fellows officially graduated from the summer program on Friday, Aug. 16, where they got to present their civic work in front of a live audience.

Since its inception four years ago, Hartsock reported that some of the fellows have returned to work at Phone2Action full time after the program.

“The Civic Tech Fellowship program has been a huge success for our organization, yielding 10 full-time employees and four part-timers who work with us remotely and during holidays. In addition, we launched an apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor this year,” Hartsock said. “Three fellows have been accepted and, at the end of the apprenticeship, will be certified to work in quality assurance and software development.”

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