We have been a proud partner with Data Works, a program out of Georgia Tech since their inception. Founded in January 2020, Data Works recruits people from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and groups that are underrepresented in computing to train them as Data Wranglers and Data Developers.
Partcipants learn by servicing data provided by nonprofits, so in addition to acquiring valuable work experience, they are also giving back to their community.
Dr. Betsy DiSalvo, founder of Data Works and a professor in GT’s School of Interactive Computing, says: “Rather than just teaching, we think it’s important to have people situated in a real work environment…. It allows them to see themselves as being a part of this industry.”
We could not agree more. At RE, one of the most important things we offer our youth is vision: the ability to see potential careers as open doorways, not just abstract fantasies. Training is important, but inspiration is priceless. It’s the basis for many of our own programs, including our summer YouthWork program.
We currently have two Project Restart students participating in the program with Dr. DiSalvo. Project Restart is an RE initiative that extends career and educational coaching support to former enrolled youth that are under-employed and/or undereducated. We believe it’s important to expose our youth and young adults to a broad range of fields and opportunities. There is no single path for our students. For one it may be college, for another, it could be data development, or any number of things.
The more narrowly you define success, the more exclusive it becomes. Ultimately, it’s about finding the opportunities that inspire each student, and giving them the resources, support, and coaching to make that dream a reality.
We’re grateful to partners like Data Works for the training they offer, for their commitment to representation, but most importantly, for their vision. It allows us all to ensure that opportunities are given to those who need it the most.
To learn more about Data Works, check them out here.