DETROIT – Grand Circus announced its third round of DEVELOP(her) in three years, supported by TEKsystems, and Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation (MCWT).
DEVELOP(her) provides scholarships to women who are committed to learning how to code through one of Grand Circus’ bootcamps. The first of these scholarships will be available for the July 2018 bootcamps.
Through the scholarship, 10 women in southeast or western Michigan will be enrolled into either Java, C# .NET, or Front-End coding bootcamp. Each bootcamp will train students for the high-growth, high-demand role of an entry-level developer. The bootcamps span 12 weeks and the scholarship recipients must be Michigan residents, participate in and pass the admissions process including application and an interview, show a strong interest in coding, and illustrate an active initiative to become a developer. Multiple ways to show initiative include previously attending an Intro to Coding Workshop, participating in free, online tutorials or attending other local classes or workshops. Lastly, passing a needs-based assessment is required. The goal of the program is to increase the number of women in the tech industry and support them as they grow in their roles.
TEKsystems, based in Maryland and with three Detroit offices, has supported DEVELOP(her) from the start. “It’s been deeply rewarding to partner with Grand Circus for the cause of helping women advance in technology careers,” said Graci Harkema, Regional Inclusion and Diversity Manager, TEKsystems. “Along with directly addressing the gender gap in technology jobs, the continued support of coding camps such as DEVELOP(her) results in more enriched local communities as the graduates improve their own quality of life and the local IT talent pool grows.”
Grand Circus’ bootcamps are intensive learning experiences that emphasize tech workplace needs like cutting-edge technical skills, soft skills, teamwork and paired programming. Over the course of the bootcamps, students establish a strong, work-ready understanding of front-end or back-end programming and are positioned to start their career as entry-level developers.
Beyond technical and soft skills, networking is an integral part of Grand Circus bootcamps. “By pairing mentoring with this bootcamp, MCWT can continue to support these talented women and further connect them with Michigan’s IT community,” said Rebecca Bray, MCWT president. “This unique collaboration is helping our state grow a diverse and resilient technology economy.”
Past DEVELOP(her) scholarship recipient, Lhea J. Copeland, pivoted from being in fundraising, sales and marketing, to being a full-time coder. Her successful IT career began after the Grand Circus bootcamp she attended provided her with the technical and soft skills to get hired at Quicken Loans. “I always wanted to become a developer, a Black-Girls-Code-er, a Women-in-Tech-programmer,” said Copeland. “I love science and technology. And let’s face it, I love ‘the internets.’”
“The students who join us through the DEVELOP(her) scholarship add both talent and diversity to the tech world,” said Damien Rocchi, co-founder and CEO of Grand Circus. “As the need for tech talent grows wildly, we’re honored to train some of the people who will fill the one million open positions expected by 2020. We believe anyone can code, and the students who enroll with us prove it, spanning from GED to PhD before ever setting foot in our doors.”