CODE2040, Growth & Change.
Today is my last day at CODE2040.
I say this with so much sincerity — CODE2040 has made a substantive impact on my life.
It’s a powerful feeling when you have students almost in tears because no one has ever taken this much initiative and time to give them a chance. It’s a powerful feeling when you realize that you’re redefining access and opportunities for some of the most undervalued members of society. It’s a powerful feeling when you hear from students that you’ve given them a chance to redefine the trajectory of their lives by opening doors to unexplored possibilities.
So in typical SF tech startup goodbye’s I have to wrap it up with a blog post….
To our community members and supporters: Thanks so much for believing in our mission, our potential, and our team. Your support and time has meant the world to me and has really reminded me “Men anpil, chay pa lou”.
To our host company partners: Thanks for trusting and growing with us — excited to see how we continue to work together to make a dent in markets and business.
To my CODE2040 team: Thanks making me feel excited to come into work everyday. I have the honor of working with such a fearless and hardworking team. From our dance breaks to our party hat team meetings I will miss you all oh so dearly. I’ve learned so much from you team and I’m excited to continue finding ways to collaborate in the future. CODE2040 for life ☺.
Laura: You are such a fearless and inspiring leader. Thanks for reminding us to always “keep it weird” while making an impact. You’re such a brilliant leader and your passion and tenacity for this work is so encouraging. CODE2040 could not have found a better co-founder.
May: My favorite EA. Your light shines so bright and I thank you for bringing such joy, compassion and grace into all you do at CODE2040. You’ve contributed balance and perspective to the day to day of CODE2040. Thanks for your thoughtfulness and smile.
Tristan: The man with the vision and hustle. I don’t know how you do it all. Being a dad, helping CODE2040 scale, running a company and sharing hilarious gifs/vines on le twitter. Thanks so much for creating pathways for the team to feel supported, inspired and encouraged to do great work. Your time and commitment to our growth has been astounding and I’m grateful to know and learn from you. We’re building something massive.
Iris: You are such an amazing person and I want to publicly articulate that. You’re such a hard working and inspiring individual. You have been an invaluable piece of my story. Thanks for reminding me of my greatness and reminding me to always push myself. Thanks for helping me grow and mature into the woman I can be proud of. You’re so unconventional and I’m so honored to have learned and worked with you.
Amy: Ohhh “Young Schapi”. Thanks so much for giving me a chance. Thanks so much for pouring your all into making sure we built a great foundation. We did the “unbelievable” and connected black and latino/a talent to tech jobs with no playbook. That’s kind of a big deal. Remember that.
Jonathan: My honorary Howard Alum! Thanks so much for your insight, perspective and authenticity. You have been a pillar on the team. Our conversations on diversity, education and impact have been some of my favorites and I’m excited to see you continue to create a legacy in this space.
Jocelyn: The glue that keeps us running and being great. You are truly a force. You are the quiet storm that makes sure we at CODE2040 can focus on impact. You’re impecable at your work and give so much to this organization. I’m so honored to have crossed paths and learned from you.
To the “new kids” on the block: Karla, Julian, Aisha, Cherry and Adejire — I could not be more excited to see you all flourish. CODE2040 seriously has the best in class team. You all bring creative insight and sheer excellence to our work here. Thanks so much for joining our CODE2040 family and contributing your talents to making history.
To our Board Members: Tristan, Ben, Amber, Marc, and Kristen- you all are the real MVP’s. You all are some of the pioneers of this conversation. Before diversity was a mainstream “thing” in tech you put your time, resources, grading and research into supporting CODE2040's vision. You have never been reluctant to get your hands dirty and help. You’re appreciated more than you know.
To our Advisory Council: Charles, Dan, Jay, Jen, Mike, Erin, Michael, Rebecca and Denmark- I want to be like all of you when I grow up. You have been so supportive to the team at CODE2040. Seeing your commitment and constant asks of how you can help — priceless.
To our Fellows Program Committee: Omoju, Charles, Hobbs, Lemu, Kelli, Rai, Danilo, Ruthe and Tiq- you all are near and dear to my heart. From our passionate discussions to our ideation sessions (I will miss our video chats across the country looking at you Lemu and Hobbs) I am so grateful to call you family.
To our CODE2040 mentors and event volunteers: Thank you for your insight your direction in helping make sure the next generation of diverse tech leaders are supported. We’re providing access and opportunity to some of the brightest undiscovered talent in technology. Thank you for using your expertise, feedback and leadership to pour into CODE2040 as we grow. I have so much respect for you all and have been blown away by your authentic commitment to inclusivity in the valley. Actions speak so loudly.
To our summer speakers and event supporters: I can’t thank you enough for your time. You prepared materials, were transparent, stayed late to chat and took time to share best practices. While it may be only a speaking engagement to you having some of the best problem solvers and leaders in the valley invest in our Fellows — immeasurable. Thank you all for sharing your time. To our 2013 speakers thank you so much! To our 2014 speakers: Aston Motes, Tracy Chou, Kamilah Taylor, Jarod Reyes, Gerald Fong, Katie Siegel, Julie Deroche, Tess Rinearson, Terry Winograd, Yamil Asusta, Danilo Campos, Julia Grace, Marc Hedlund, Raffi Krikorian, Peter Norvig, Ben Horowitz, Emily Chang, Nissa Anklesaria, Lauren Furniss, Cedric Brown, Richard Kerby, Merline Saintil, Chris Martin, Adam Nash, Selina Tobaccowala, Ken Norton and many more — thank you! Thank you for your help in bringing my event visions to life over the summer and being such fantastic collaborators. To our friends at Facebook, Riviera Partners, Pandora, Kapor Center, Pinterest, GA, Impact Hub, IDEO, Medium, Black Founders, LSA and CodePath who hosted/co-hosted sessions events — thank you!
Last, but certainly not least— to our CODE2040 Fellows: Thanks for taking a risk and trusting these passionate people in California who wanted to connect you to some jobs in this “silicon valley place”. For many of you this was your first time here. Some of you didn’t understand or see what we saw in you. I am so honored to know you all and I’m excited to see how you grow and develop. You’re like my extended family and I’m grateful to have played a role in your growth and development. I’m excited to continue seeing things like this on the interwebs.
As for my “next play” — still figuring that out (I know I know this whole pay-your-bills thing — important). One of my goals for this year was to take better care of myself, and that’s what I’m planning on doing to start — rest and recharge. I’ve always lived in a hustler’s state of mind due to a lack of a safety net. That whole make-more-than-both-your-parents thing (keep in mind I work at a non profit) is a reality for some people of color. I’ve often neglected myself at the illusion of “growth/success”.
While I’m “exemplifying courage”, this is definitely a scary transition.
In my time working at CODE2040 I’ve learned time and time again that people are the world’s greatest asset. I’ve learned that we are able to create lasting change in society by developing the potential found in all. So world, I encourage you to invest in supporting and encouraging one another — the return will always exceed your expectations.
I’m excited to continue making an impact, cultivating networks, and accentuating the excellence in underrepresented communities.