General Assembly, a New York-based startup that offers educational courses in a wide range of technology-related skills, is expanding its scholarship program to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
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The new fund is aimed at women, war veterans and minorities – specifically African-Americans and Latinos, according to General Assembly. Those who are accepted onto the program will receive an $8,500 grant for the company’s three-month Web Development Immersive course. Standard tuition normally costs $11,500, so fellows will need to foot the remaining $3,000 bill.
Once the formal tuition has finished, General Assembly will offer resources and support in finding a job, such as through its hiring partner network.
The New York pilot has already attracted some high-profile partners in Google, Microsoft and hip-hop legend Nas, however for its West Coast debut PayPal and Alexis Ohanian – co-founder of Reddit and an investor for General Assembly – are also joining the cause. PayPal will support fellows with a tour of its headquarters, meetings with some of its engineers and an interview with a hiring manager. Ohanian, meanwhile, has promised a year of personal mentorship and an interview with at least one of his portfolio companies.
“I was eager to contribute to Opportunity Fund because I’m passionate about supporting diversity, and I want as many people as possible to have the chance to start the next world-changing startup.,” Ohanian said. Technology is the future of all industry and I want it to look like the world we live in.”
As part of the scholarship, graduates will need to give 100 hours to helping underprivileged children through tech education nonprofits. At the moment, these include All Star Code, Black Girls Code, CodeNow, Coderdojo and ScriptEd.
Applications open today and close on September 3. General Assembly says its goal is to fund 40 scholarships in 2014 and 300 in 2015. The numbers are small for now, but the Opportunity Fund’s mission statement seems admirable and hopefully the program will evolve in the coming months and years.
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