2 Years of Scholarships: Tech Elevator’s Commitment to Increasing Accessibility
Editor’s note: This article was originally published to Anthony Hughes’ LinkedIn here.
Today marks two years since Tech Elevator established its Represent Tech Scholarship for historically underrepresented groups; we’re here to celebrate this achievement and recognize those students who worked hard to transform their lives!
What Is Represent Tech?
In case you aren’t familiar with this initiative, we launched Represent Tech in the Summer of 2020 with the goal of helping historically underrepresented groups gain access to tech careers.
The scholarship awards one seat, per Tech Elevator cohort—at every physical campus and our National Live Remote program—to a deserving candidate covering a majority of their tuition. Tech Elevator’s hiring partners have also contributed to the scholarship’s total impact on our student body, having sponsored seats in cohorts or by contributing to the scholarship fund.
Why We’re More Committed Than Ever.
In launching the Represent Tech Scholarship, we established our commitment to reduce barriers to opportunity, increase diversity within our classrooms and help our hiring partners foster an inclusive technology workforce. This scholarship program also highlights our efforts to not only identify and nurture a diverse group of future leaders, but also support those future leaders as they inspire others and affect positive change from within the tech community. After two years of Represent Tech, we wanted to share and celebrate the progress of our scholarship recipients and the scholarship’s impact so far.
The Impact: Increasing Diversity in Tech
In the short amount of time since the Represent Tech scholarship was created, we’ve seen it change many lives. In those two years, Tech Elevator’s Represent Scholarship has been awarded to just under 100 students and we’ve distributed over $1.1 Million in scholarship funds. Below are a few more stats that showcase the impact of the scholarship:
- $1,144,050 total Scholarship money awarded from Tech Elevator and partners
- $540,175 total Scholarship money awarded from Tech Elevator
- 90% scholarship recipient graduation rate
- 94% scholarship recipient placement rate
- 47 different companies have hired our scholars
- 14% increase in underrepresented groups at Tech Elevator – today 42% of our cohorts are diverse.
Spotlight: Represent Tech Scholarship Recipient and Graduate
Annie Cochran was one of our Cincinnati scholarship recipients during the Fall 2021 cohort. Before enrolling, she was feeling directionless and unengaged in her current career path. Annie wanted to find a career she was passionate about—and one that would relieve her from financial stressors. She was making ends meet by working three part-time jobs, and decided to make a change with a coding bootcamp. Utilizing the technical knowledge from Tech Elevator and her exceptional communication skills, she now works as a Product Manager at Kroger.
Annie shared her experience: “Before Tech Elevator, I was doing the multi-job hustle as a Freelance Designer, Contractor, and selling whiskey. I was busy, but I wasn’t engaged with my career. Now, I’m combining the technical skills I learned from the program with my people skills as a Product Manager. One thing that surprised me about Tech Elevator was how close my cohort became, even though we were learning remotely at the time. I even started a Meetup group so we could stay in touch with each other, which has now turned into a mentoring group in the Cincinnati area. I felt like I could do anything after the program.”
“You always have the power to change your life. I had the will to succeed and if you want to change your life, Tech Elevator is a great way to try.”
Annie is just one example of the lives and careers that are being transformed through Represent Tech. Congratulations to all of our Represent Tech recipients; they continue to be a source of inspiration for our team every day.
Our Community Partners’ Support
We asked our partners to join us in creating greater accessibility to careers in tech when we launched Represent Tech. Since that time two years ago, we’ve been able to partner with more organizations to amplify the impact of the Represent Tech Scholarship—making it available to an even greater population of students. To date through these partnerships, we have awarded 51 additional scholarships at various levels, awarding more than $603,875 beyond our own commitment.
While we are very excited for these outcomes, there is still much work to be done and more to achieve. And, we can’t do it alone. As always, we welcome new hiring partners, community partners, local foundations and philanthropists to join us in impacting lives, together. With your support, just imagine how many more lives and careers we’ll be able to transform in the years ahead.
More information on the Represent Tech scholarship can be found here.