The Knowledge House Enlists a Tech Advisory Board to Prepare for the Unprecedented Workforce Needs Due to COVID-19
Now more than ever, it’s time to invest in the future of tech education.
When The Knowledge House (TKH) announced the launch of the 2020 Innovation Fellowship, Derrick Stroman, Business and Partnerships Manager, was on a mission to build a tech advisory board. He had the opportunity to share information about TKH’s digital skills training program at a tech event, Beta Bagels, where his eyes were set on finding tech professionals looking to give back through meaningful engagement. Derrick’s passionate presentation for volunteers and partners at the Beta Bagels event caught the attention of Gilad Barash, the Vice President of Analytics at Dstillery.
Weeks later, Gilad started volunteering at TKH, first addressing students from the Data Science class. He gave them insights about his day-to-day roles and responsibilities as well as the inside scoop on what sets Dstillery apart from other ad-tech companies collecting data every day.
“Working with The Knowledge House to include more diverse voices in our workforce has been a very fulfilling experience, and I am honored to join their Tech Advisory Board in order to continue to work towards this important goal.”- Gilad Barash
Thanks to Dstillery, students had many opportunities to engage with data science professionals and ask questions about the different technologies used to drive their data products and solutions. The company went as far as to set up a private demo day and mock interview event for TKH’s data science students. One student in particular piqued the interviewers’ interest: Franklin Ajosogun.
Franklin came to The Knowledge House after previously working as a math tutor while finishing up his last year at CUNY. His hard work and dedication landed him a position as a Data Analyst intern at Dstillery. Only three months later, his internship turned into a full-time role.
Franklin asserts that being a TKH fellow and landing a job at Dstillery has put him in a far better position to provide for his family.
Giving alumni the opportunity to prove their technical strengths while working with industry professionals at high-ranking companies, cutting-edge startups, and impactful organizations has helped them ensure a better future for themselves and their families. Graduates of TKH’s programs, like Franklin, represent the untapped talent of the Bronx. TKH’s partnerships with corporations like Dstillery and industry leaders on the Tech Advisory Board enables its students and alumni to directly connect to decision makers in their field and build relationships that will serve them well into their careers.
Since then, DStillery has become a key business partner and sponsor of TKH. Gilad now serves as TKH’s first Tech Advisory Board member, providing industry wisdom that contributes to the quality of TKH talent and the resources available to them. In the months following, word about TKH’s partnership with DStillery spread to other companies including Bloomberg, RubiconMD, Talk Hiring, Qri, Candogram, and Chase. More tech professionals like Gilad have since been welcomed to serve as tutors, mentors and advisors. As our network grows, so do the tremendous opportunities TKH provides its students and alumni.
The Knowledge House’s Tech Advisory Board was created with the idea that businesses and nonprofits could work together to create a more diverse and inclusive future for the tech sector. Advisory Board members lend their expertise and provide support and guidance in the form of mentoring, professional and resource development, technical assistance, guest lecturing, program materials review, and advocacy. The Advisory Board meets quarterly, while sub-committees meet more regularly to discuss employer partnerships, networking opportunities for students, and curricula improvements.
Board Members include:
- Altaf Yassin — Senior Associate at Goldman Sachs
- Amina Yamusah — Co-founder and CTO at Bloc Software
- Anil Seoparson — Freelance Software developer
- Gilad Barash — VP of Analytics at Dstillery
- Jesse Owens II — Director of Product at Mastercard
- Johnny Lin — Senior Engineering Manager at Harry’s
- Julian Rodriguez — Founder & CEO at Stealth
- Matthew Newton — Engineering Manager at Bloomberg
- Robert Greenfield IV — Head of ConsenSys Social Impact
- Talia Fayaz — Software Engineer at YieldStreet | Founder of NYC Coders
As NYC’s unemployment crisis is more dire than ever before, TKH is stepping up to unite the corporate and workforce development communities to meet the urgent needs of many jobseekers impacted by the COVID crisis. With hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers facing permanent layoffs, the demand for sustainable digital jobs has never been higher. The Knowledge House has rapidly mobilized to launch plans that will expand our capacity to take on as many students in our fall digital skills training cohort as possible.
The Tech Advisory Board is seeking business partnerships to support TKH through volunteerism, sponsorship, and hiring opportunities for students and alumni.