A note from one alumni to another…

We know first-hand the value of the program and of being part of the LEARN family. The training, internship, career services, and ongoing community support have helped so many of us transition to successful careers as developers and elsewhere in tech roles.  I say enthusiastically and often:  attending LEARN academy changed my life for the better, genuinely reversing the dead-end career track I was on.  I’m proud to be a LEARN alumni, and I couldn’t be happier to introduce the LEARN Foundation.

The LEARN Foundation. 2020 brought some new challenges our way, and in some cases new opportunities, and Chelsea Kaufman and the LEARN team have looked for ways of embracing both. The launch of the LEARN Foundation couldn’t be better timed, as its goals address both challenge and opportunity. The Foundation’s mission is to break down barriers to success by offering scholarships to diverse, underserved populations who often face greater cultural and economic challenges.  As we all know from personal experience, attending LEARN demanded a lot of risk and sacrifice.  In addition to the financial investment of tuition, many of us had to give up income during the program.  The Foundation’s goal is to empower eligible students with significant scholarships in 2021 who would not otherwise have the ability to enroll.

The Alumni Council. The Alumni Council is an arm of the LEARN Foundation that will provide key support, guidance and oversight to its success, and I’m thrilled to be a member along with seven of my fellow alumni from across LEARN’s six-year history.  Since my cohort (Delta ‘18!), I’ve had the privilege to interview dozens of students on behalf of Notch8, and one of my favorite things about LEARN continues to be the diversity of enrollment. I’m also proud to be an alumnus to an organization that has been active with groups like Blacks in Tech, LatinaGeeks, Girls in Tech, Women who Code, Operation Code, and the Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs. The Alumni Council is passionate about making the program even more inclusive for individuals of different races, gender identities, physical abilities, sexual orientations, economic backgrounds, ethnicities, and life experiences by helping the Foundation provide more points of entry into the tech industry for those with greater barriers.

How you can help. The Alumni Council asks you to consider supporting the LEARN Foundation in it’s scholarship goal for 2021.  While corporate partners will help get us there, donations from alumni will be crucial to meet an overall fundraising goal of $50,000.  This is an excellent opportunity to pay it forward by sharing some of your success in a way that will help others achieve the same. If every alumni donates even $20, the strength of this community would raise $8000 in one round that will provide direct assistance to individuals who could benefit from the same opportunities LEARN has offered us.

LEARN is part of an education revolution, and I am personally excited for an opportunity to support alternative education over the traditional higher ed system. Please join me in donating to the scholarship fund and helping to share this program with those for whom it may be otherwise out of reach. Check out learnacademy.foundation to read more about the LEARN Foundation and to donate to the scholarship fund.  And be sure to watch your inbox for more news from the Foundation,

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Kevin Kochanski, Delta 2018

…and my fellow Alumni Council members:

  • Mina Chuong, 2016 Bravo
  • Greg Foreman, Echo 2019
  • Noor Ghamedi, Alpha 2017
  • Jess Guttenburg, Alpha 2019
  • Caitlin Johnson, Delta 2018
  • Sarah Proctor, Delta 2018
  • Kristen Mulder, Delta 2019
  • Matt Tripoli, Charlie 2017
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