Diversity & Inclusion
Funding / Professional development

Code for Philly’s new technical fellowship offers paid skills development and mentorship

With a donation from Comcast, Code By Philly will provide three fellows with professional experience, mentorship and a stipend over eight weeks.

Apps for Code for Philly's paid fellowship opened Monday, Aug. 17. (Courtesy image)

Opportunity alert: Code for Philly is launching a fellowship to provide three technologists with professional technical experience, mentorship and a stipend. The part-time opportunity will pay each fellow a $1,500 stipend for ten hours of work on a weekly basis over an eight-week period.

Code for Philly Communications Lead Julia Schuchard said the hacking-for-good group’s leadership team came up with the idea three months ago as they discussed ways to adapt to the pandemic.

“Part of the inspiration was the pandemic and tech jobs have been a bit more resilient to layoffs,” she said. “Recent events inspired us to think about what we can do to reduce barriers for people underrepresented in the tech industry.”

Schuchard said that while anyone can join the volunteer-driven Code for Philly, feedback from members indicated that career advancement at many tech jobs requires paid job experience.

A March donation from Comcast will help financially support the fellowship program. The donation was not earmarked for any particular purpose but after planning, the org decided to use the donation to create new opportunities, Schuchard said.

Code for Philly hopes that the skills the three fellows learn in the program will help refine existing skills they already have. Each fellow will focus on particular tech skills in product management, development operations and front-end development while working on Code for Philly projects serving partners such as the Philadelphia Bail Fund and Prevention Point Philadelphia. Code for Philly project leads Marieke Jackson, Michael Manoguerra, Kristerpher Henderson and Brittany Anderson will serves as and work with other mentors to support the fellows.

Schuchard said that mentorship for the fellows is designed to help the fellows learn new skills, build their networks and increase their social capital. Mentors will define particular tasks for fellows to execute. By introducing fellows to professionals in their networks, mentors can also help them find new opportunities. Code for Philly will also survey fellows as the program goes on to receive feedback on ways to enhance the program for future fellows.

Apps are open now through Sept. 5. Fellowships will begin Sept. 14.

Code for Philly has remained active during the pandemic with virtual events, hackathons and partnerships with social justice organizations.

Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: Comcast
Projects: Code for Philly

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