“One of our most impactful and longest-standing social impact programs is our Opportunity Fund, which provides 100% fully-funded scholarships to our immersive courses for low-income individuals, with a special focus on underrepresented communities in tech jobs: women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and veterans.”
Profession: Social Impact Manager, General Assembly
Location: New York, New York
Tell us about your role and how philanthropy plays a part in the work you lead.
I’m the Social Impact Manager at General Assembly, a pioneer in education and career transformation, specializing in today’s most in-demand skills. The leading source for training, staffing, and career transitions, we foster a flourishing community of professionals pursuing careers they love. Philanthropies are an important partner in supporting our work to create social impact programs that enable affordable and accessible education, contribute to a diverse tech talent pipeline, and promote social mobility through careers in tech.
Can you share one specific story that illustrates the impact you make.
One of our most impactful and longest-standing social impact programs is our Opportunity Fund, which provides 100% fully-funded scholarships to our immersive courses for low-income individuals, with a special focus on underrepresented communities in tech jobs: women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and veterans. I’m inspired by graduates of our program who have switched careers, earned new jobs with higher salaries, and still have passion for giving back to their community. We’ve seen this time and time again. For example, one of our early Opportunity Fund alums Lyn Muldrow, used her new web development knowledge to become a computer science teacher at Hack the Hood. General Assembly empowered her with the skills to help inspire a generation of new computer scientists. Her story is also featured in this short documentary.
Who is your philanthropic role model?
I’m really impressed by the emphasis that a new wave of philanthropists and organizations are putting on research and transparency. While it’s not a typical “philanthropist,” GiveWell (a nonprofit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities) is doing important work to inspire donors to give to organizations that are cost-effective and transparent. Their work has helped lead to the emergence of organizations, like GiveDirectly (an organization that allows donors to send money directly to the poor with no strings attached), which is flipping the international aid model on its head.
What is one of your first memories of philanthropy?
Growing up in a politically engaged household, I remember my parents receiving annual reports, magazines, and solicitations from environmental advocacy organizations like Sierra Club and Greenpeace. While annual reports are still common, it’s amazing to see in my short lifetime how nonprofits’ have new opportunities to take advantage of speed, scale, and content. Today, using videos or graphics on social media, nonprofits have the potential to reach millions with a compelling story about their impact within hours.
Beyond your day job, how else are you connected to giving – other organizations, etc.
Beyond giving to organizations that I believe have powerful missions, I think it’s important to lend time, expertise, and support to nonprofits – particularly local nonprofits – that welcome additional capacity. I work closely with Riders Alliance, which advocates for reliable, affordable, world-class public transit. I’m passionate about public transportation in New York City; there are few issues that affect more people.