Learn to Lead

This post was written by Christina Lewis Halpern, our Founder and Executive Director.

Sitting here on a train from New York City to Washington DC, my Slack and emails are pinging. I’m powering through my inbounds and must-dos now, so that I can focus on my meetings and events once I arrive. Always on the go, this is the typical routine for me as the Founder of All Star Code.

As a founder, it can be lonely. It is still amazing to me, sometimes, that All Star Code grows leaps and bounds, even when I’m not working on it. In those early days, the fire of our new idea hounded me and had me kissing my baby and heading out the door every day at 8:30 in the morning. When it was just an idea there was only one person on team All Star Code… this girl.

All Star Code’s Founder and Executive Director, Christina Lewis Halpern, during our first-ever workshop.

And now, three years later, wow. All Star Code is a fast-growing learning machine. This summer brought a major milestone of 10 full-time employees.

As our team knows, joining our squad means committing to live our mission, which means learning. We ask our students to learn one of the hardest skills to learn — computer science. And not only that, we are asking them to learn a new world, meet different kinds of people, foster cross-cultural relationships.

We were very lucky that from the very beginning, the power of our vision — closing the racial gap in tech entrepreneurship by focusing on a totally neglected group: Black and Latino high school boys — attracted a range of amazing and talented and diverse individuals.

Amanda Greenberg (right) during our first Summer Intensive program.

One of them was Amanda Greenberg, who joined All Star Code in the spring of 2014 as my very first Executive Assistant. We were embarking on our very first Summer Intensive program. I was pregnant and in the midst of a yearlong home renovation, so I was living with my Mom. Amanda brought support and organization to our systems and jumped into everything that was needed, from drafting emails, to negotiating refunds, to securing meetings.

We call All Star Code a “learning machine,” thus promoting from within is an important part of our culture. And it is past time that Amanda move on from her assistant responsibilities and fully devote herself to Alumni Student Services.

I am pleased to share we have posted a job description for my new Executive Assistant. This person will work closely with me and learn about fundraising, systems-building, culture, hiring and all other aspects of running a non-profit organization. You will also be one of our first 15 employees. I’m very excited to work with you!

The Executive Assistant will support the Executive Director and the rest of the leadership team as air traffic control for the organization. This individual will be an upbeat driver who is versatile, flexible, and comfortable in ambiguous situations. The role is highly influential and there is ample room for growth as this individual will be exposed to all aspects of leading a non-profit from fundraising to board management to hiring and program design. S/he will also have direct access to and interaction with leaders of innovative tech companies and foundations across the country.

Every squad member of All Star Code is a learning machine, eager to dare greatly by putting themselves into challenging situations. We are a transparent organization with open calendars, salary bands, problem-finding sessions, and collaborative goal setting.

So, if you make a mistake, fail to meet a target, or can’t quite solve a problem, we share that failure as a team. Not only do we share it, but we also celebrate failure because it is a sign that you are really trying to do something difficult. We are a team that believes in drive. We love the thrill of a clear goal and working hard to get there.

We tell our story. We bring our full selves to work and support our team members’ “side hustles”, their pets, and their family members. We get to know each other as people and make all decisions from a place of empathy.

This role is the first of several open positions we will be posting. If you or someone you know may be interested in contributing to our mission and culture, please send them our way.

Please send a resume and cover letter to Amanda Greenberg, Special Projects Manager, at jobs@allstarcode.org with the subject line: ASC Executive Assistant.

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