Professional Development
Career development / DEI / Funding / Nonprofits / Tech jobs

Philly coding bootcamp lands $2.5M donation from Mackenzie Scott

Resilient Coders will use the money to diversify revenue and hire more staff, executive director Ayanna Lott-Pollard told Technical.ly.

Resilient Coders staff and Philly alumni (Courtesy Resilient Coders)

When executive director Ayanna Lott-Pollard found out that Resilient Coders received a multi-million donation earlier this spring, first she laughed. Then, once the news sunk in, she cried.

Philanthropist Mackenzie Scott and her charitable fund Yield Giving donated $2.5 million to the coding bootcamp, and witnessed Lott-Pollard’s shocked reaction in real time over a video call. This donation will expand Resilient Coders’ technical training, program offerings, job placement strategies and staff. The organization hopes to add more coding languages to its courses and provide students with greater assistance for building their networks, Lott-Pollard said.

“To be able to have an influx of cash, it changes everything,” Lott-Pollard told Technical.ly. “It is a great place to be able to say we can hire some people, we can expand our program. This marketing plan that we’ve been wanting to implement, we can have it.”

Resilient Coders trains people of color for tech jobs and helps them land their first full-time tech role. The nonprofit started in Boston and expanded to Philly in 2021. So far this year, Resilient Coders has trained 92 people across both cities and is accepting applications for its fall cohorts.

‘Growing impact’ by diversifying revenue streams, scaling investments and hiring staff

The Mackenzie Scott donation comes at the same time that Resilient Coders is finalizing its three-year strategic plan. It includes programming updates to keep up with the changing tech job market, Lott-Pollard said.

Within the larger theme of “growing impact,” the plan outlines goals for generating revenue by diversifying how it makes money, scaling investments and improving the way the organization tells its story.

Resilient Coders also wants to boost diversity and equity in the workforce by partnering with like-minded organizations. The last arm of the plan is to hire more staff, including a director of operations and a director of employer partnerships.

“We want to become a more comprehensive tech hub for Black and brown communities,” Lott-Pollard said. “Where we learn, upskill, reskill, create and innovate.”

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 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: Resilient Coders

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