How the Opportunity Fund Helps the Black Community Break Into Tech

By: Fullstack Staff

Despite gradual changes year over year, it’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to be done to increase diversity in tech and create an industry that is more representative of our communities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black people only accounted for 8.7% of workers in core IT occupations in the U.S. in 2019 (12.3% of the workforce identifies as Black or African American).

At Fullstack Academy, we believe that access to education is a root cause of many injustices we see throughout society, so in June 2020, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs David Yang and Nimit Marut set out to create the Opportunity Fund.

A $1.1 million scholarship fund that provides full-tuition scholarships for Black and African American students, the Opportunity Fund helps make Fullstack’s flagship software engineering and cybersecurity programs more accessible.

Learn more about our goals for the Opportunity Fund and why it’s important to us by watching this short video featuring our staff. 

Fullstack’s goals for the scholarship are to create a more equitable industry, diversify tech, and drive innovation through diverse perspectives.

Impacting an Industry

“Systemic change must happen to sustain diverse representation in tech. The Opportunity Fund supports those in the Black community who are eager to create solutions and says, ‘here are the seats at the table—please join,’” says Brianna Balady, Fullstack Academy’s Career Success Events Associate. 

In addition to opening up the industry to more Black tech talent, Fullstack aims to use the scholarship to impact the tech job market as a whole. 

“The creation and implementation of the Opportunity Fund will create more diversity in tech because it will provide the Black community with the chance to acquire a skill set, which will help make it possible to be more competitive in the tech job market,” says Crystal Fields-Sam, Fullstack’s Flex Program Lead.

Fullstack Academy’s alumni go on to work for companies large and small, from tech giants like Google and Amazon to software companies, nonprofits, startups, and more. 

Fullstack started accepting applications for the Opportunity Fund for its November 2020 cohort, with an information session on September 10 for those who want to learn more and prepare to apply in the New Year. 

How to Apply

If you’re interested, start by completing a standard Fullstack Academy application—either for web development or cybersecurity (both offer full- and part-time programs) and check your eligibility.

Once you’ve gone through the admissions process and are accepted, you’ll be invited to submit a video up to three minutes long based on one of the following prompts:

  • What is your passion for technology?
  • How will you impact the world and your community with this scholarship? 
  • Who do you look up to in tech and how do you hope to emulate them in your work?
  • What inspires you to take your career in this direction—and why now?

From there, a committee, including members of the Fullstack Executive Leadership Team, will review the video submissions and award scholarship funding. 

To learn more about how to finance your Fullstack education, explore our financing options.


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