The accelerated 12-week coding institution, Coding Dojo, has created a $250,000 social innovation fund and scholarship program to promote coding for the “greater good”. Recipients of the award receive a 90 percent scholarship and have goals to learn coding so they can make a significant change in the world.
The first recipient of the scholarship is Redlight Traffic. The Seattle-based nonprofit works to aid survivors of sex and human trafficking. Redlight’s Founder and President, Amin Haq, enrolled in the Coding Dojo program to further his education and be better able to mentor survivors.
The hope is that the partnership between Redlight Traffic and Coding Dojo will enable survivors to regain some sense of control of their lives and give them a future in technology. “Human trafficking takes talented young people away from our community at critical points in their lives when they normally would have completed secondary and higher educations, gained vital career skills, and pursued their passions. In short, trafficking steals futures.” Haq said.
Coding Dojo and CEO Richard Wang came up with the idea for the scholarship and social innovation fund after sponsoring a “hackathon for a cause” in May with Uber. The hackathon celebrated different ways technology could be used to make the world a better place. The winning team created an app called Textber that gives accessible Uber rides to elderly and lower-income individuals who don’t own a smartphone.
Wang and his team came hope the scholarship broadens tech’s reach. “Technology careers shouldn’t be limited to just computer science majors or elite, but for anyone who dreams of transforming their lives and finding meaning in their work,” said Wang. “Especially as we aim to increase diversity in tech, partnerships with organizations like Redlight Traffic allos us to support talented individuals who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to contribute to our thriving tech community.”
Coding Dojo is aiming to give out 1-2 scholarships to each cohort, which is about every 5-6 weeks. As the program grows, Coding Dojo is looking to partner with more companies and nonprofits, both local and national, to support those who could use a coding education.