About: The issue in my community that I would like to help solve through code would be housing. Long time residents of SE Washington DC are being pushed out of the neighborhood, needing to find other residences. I want to build tools to help low-income tenants find the housing that they need.
About: Post-Residency I went back home to continue to help out organizing with the Arizona Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project ( QUIP), currently working on building a website for the organization! [My view of coding] has changed dramatically - I had no clue what programming or being a developer meant, now I can see the possibilities and tools that are helpful when organizing.
About: Mass Incarceration is enslaving people of color at disproportionate rates. The prison industrial complex has created a profitable system that is funneling our people from schools, foster care, hospitals and other institutions into the prison system. We have to deconstruct this system because it is unjust, corrupt and purely for the profit of the corporations invested. There are more restorative and transformative alternatives to policing and incarceration. [I want to build an] app that would reduce the flow into the prison system by helping us to navigate the way that we interact with police on the streets. This app would give you a full understanding of each one of your rights as a youth, person of color, or member of the lgbtq community. It would also give you a direct number to the nearest free defense legal aid available in your area and a pre filled form of emergency information.
About: Hi, my name is Erick Chavarria-Romo and I’m very excited to be part of this year’s Code for Progress cohort! I was born in Northern Mexico and raised in a small New Mexico town close to El Paso, TX. I’ve spent the last four years in the San Francisco Bay Area where I witnessed the amazing things that are possible with tech but also the way that nonprofits and social justice movements are limited to this technology due to a lack of resources. I hope to be part of bridging this gap to help organizations and social justice groups expand their mission and their reach. Prior to Code for Progress I was working at Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, CA, a free legal services organization that fights for justice on behalf low-income communities in the Bay. Being a queer and undocumented immigrant fuels my passion for immigrant rights and the liberation of all queer & trans people of color.
About: I joined Code for Progress to encourage, educate, and connect low-wage workers across the nation. Employees need to know they have the right to ask questions, and report problems without fear of retaliation or losing their jobs. We need tools that can give rapid response.
About: I am a graduate of Howard University's John H. Johnson School of Communications. After graduating, I spent five years working at The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. I applied to Code for Progress because the organization’s goals align perfectly with mine in terms of increasing the number of minorities and women in programming. After the Code for Progress program, I plan to work for a company that works specifically with nonprofit organizations to create web and mobile applications to advance their community work. I also plan to start a nonprofit that teaches these skills to African American teens who have had less access to STEM in my hometown of New Orleans, LA.
About: I was born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies until the age of 9 where I migrated to the United States. Prior to being accepted to Code for Progress, I worked in accounting and finance as an analyst, for two years. I dedicated my time outside of work to applying technology to challenges unique to my community by organizing hackathons. This is a part of a larger vision to empower my community by fusing unique community characteristics, finance and technology. I applied to Code for Progress because I believe it would give me the opportunity to focus solely on developing the technical skills necessary to build products I envision. I hope to use my experiences here to build a company that will harness the power of tech to financially empower communities.
About: As a Code for Progress fellow, Sana's hope is to build resources for progressive campaigns, especially in her local community. Sana aims to create web applications that make information, resources, and support more accessible. Due to limited resources, it can be difficult for one campaign alone to answer thousands of complex legal questions about immigration law. As a solution, Sana would like to create a platform like Stack Overflow where people crowd source advice and ‘upvote’ answers that are helpful. The platform would be able to distinguish the answers provided by trusted organization, legal professionals, or volunteers allowing communities to aggregated knowledge and power.
About: Bakari spent the years prior to joining Code for Progress engaging with the Black LGBTQ community by founding and leading Bois of Baltimore, Inc., a network of queer, masculine women. Recognizing the lack of networking opportunities available to herself and peers, the small organization hosted frequent meet-ups, community service projects, and fundraisers to increase awareness and support of minority businesses. Bakari want to create tangible changes in and around Baltimore and I knew Code for Progress was the way to do that. This fellowship provides the opportunity to learn the languages and skills needed to leverage technology to resolve some of the larger intrinsically related issues affecting marginalized communities. Specifically, Bakari is interested in creating a web app that provides a bird’s-eye-view of resources and services in Baltimore City and the surrounding areas.
About: Jackie pursued the Code for Progress fellowship because she understand the huge impact coding skills with social services and other issues related to the community. The intersection of these tools, has the potential to drastically impact and change the lives of Washingtonians. Jackie is committed to learning to build dynamic tools for change agents and residents working on the ground in DC to provide better health, housing, social, and racial equity outcomes in our communities.
About: I am a coder. In just four months Code For Progress given me the tools to build dynamic web applications. What I have been able to accomplish is beyond measure! I have built a data reporting application for a constituent relationship manager, written python scripts that cleans data and exports to a CSV, and can even make a button change colors just by hovering over it. Code For Progress not only taught me syntax, they have shifted how I want to be in this world.
About: One issue that I want to address is finding people after they have entered the deportation system. It is very hard for family members to track them down, because they are constantly moved from one center to the next. Also, families don't know where to find resources or legal representation for their loved ones. Though ICE already has a website to locate these people, I want to make a more people-friendly tool that will include both government data and updates from social media. I want to provide information on trusted lawyers, bail bonds, how to get a hearing and community resources or organizations that are able to help families get their loved ones out of detention centers.
About: Nearly 6 million immigrants have been left out of recent deportation relief programs. Luis joined Code for Progress because he wants to create applications that helps immigrant communities continue to be innovative with online tools that make it easier for them to defend themselves against deportations. Considering the high tech and web adoption among undocumented and Latino communities, Luis know tech and the web can fill in a gap and allow communities to protect themselves where traditional political avenues have failed.
About: The fact that I think i can build tools to help my communities is a big vision change. I'm also building an app for promoters and music adventurers looking to diversify their line-up with women identified djays. I'm super excited to collaborate with others on this project.
About: A problem that affects my community of Red Hook is repairs that need to be done in the apartments of public housing. Months go by and NYCHA doesn't respond to repair requests. It creates the feeling that the housing authority doesn't care about us, the tenants, so much so that we feel we can’t take pride in our community. By addressing this communication issue, peoples’ apartments will be more livable and the community can feel heard. I want to make tools that allow public housing residents to report issues and contact maintenance.
About: Like most millennials, Kemi have been surrounded by computers and technology since birth. Learning to program piqued my interest for years, and Code for Progress presented itself as the perfect opportunity to not only develop those skills, but also use them for the greater good. Kemi is committed to creating an app that allows local neighborhoods to crowd-source physical resource. Similar to apps like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, this will allow for community-created projects such as neighborhood beautification, safety kits for homeless individuals, or stocking a local food kitchen. I want community members to not just contribute, but also feel empowered to spearhead the change they want to see.
About: I see the potential of new software and new technologies in everything. From the moment I open my eyes eyes to the moment I go back to sleep, I have thought of at least 10 new applications I can create in my personal life that would improve how I interact and move around in the world as a woman and as a person with hearing loss. The fact that I could create these applications and create something that would have a positive impact on someone else, I think that is really powerful and empowering.
About: Marvin want to make my city’s transportation system better and joined Code for Progress would provide me with the skills and knowledge I need to do that. A lot of people in my community in Baltimore can’t afford to own cars, and the city doesn’t have a school bus system. As such, public transportation is extremely important there, for both workers, and students. The MTA recently began offering real time bus and train location data. The system, however, has many challenges including lack of accessibility for many of us without smartphones, inaccurate transport information, and a clunky design. Marvin am committed to fixing this problem and others like it in my community and feel confident he will learn how to do that at Code for Progress.
About: Falon applied to the Code For Progress fellowship because she is committed to using the tools that Code For Progress teaches to build organizational support for Black businesses and local organizations in Washington, D.C. Falon is particularly interested in building an app that connects Black tech-savvy individuals to Black business owners who are central to the DC business ecosystem but lack technological support and knowledge. This would create more stimulus to the local economy, from within the community itself, which statistically is one of the most effective means of building and supporting a sense of community ownership and leading to long-term solutions and economic growth.
About: Now that I know some of the capabilities of tech, I see digital solutions everywhere for common problems that plague my community. I don't think technology can or should solve everything, but I think useful tools that can be created to help people solve complex problems. Right now, I am especially interested in how Native communities can user mobile technology to learn and grow our diverse histories, languages, cultures, and values.
About: I have worked in education for over 17 years with roles including a teacher's aide, special education teacher, school director, admissions director and a special education coordinator. I saw the trajectory of how technology is changing our lives and continues to make a huge impact in today's society and got hit with the tech bug two years ago. After taking an online course about teaching yourself how to code, I decided to make a career change into the technology world. One of my main goals is to teach and show students the benefits of coding and all the fun and exciting things they can build such as a website from scratch.
About: Getting an opportunity to teach some of the skills that I've developed in Code for Progress to young people at the #YesWeCode youth hackathon was an amazing experience for me.
Before joining Code For Progress, Naeem worked as a freelance web programmer, building websites and applications. His interest in software began when he decided to build a website for a friend, having had no prior coding experience. He visited the library, and armed with book after book, got to work. Once the project was completed, he was hooked! Before truly committing himself to software, however, Naeem spent some time working as a Mortgage Underwriter for three years, but the force was too strong in this one and he quit that job after two years, fully committing himself to creating cool online tools. He now trains the next generation of full stack developers for Code For Progress.
Grace is thrilled to join the Code for Progress team. She was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and currently lives in Washington, D.C. Currently, a student at George Mason University, studying for a M.S in Educational Psychology, grace researches how people make and create things using technology, art, and digital media. She researched how people learn and build inclusive learning environments at the Hirschhorn Museum's ARTLAB+ and makerspaces in Detroit and Baltimore. Prior to Code for Progress, grace also worked as an educator at Baltimore Clayworks, independent schools, and has worked at Teaching for Change. She has a B.A in Theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is excited to be immersed in mentoring, coding, and social justice initiatives at Code for Progress. In her free time she enjoys running, writing, and spending time outdoors.