Elijah Agyemang, UCHS ’17, always had an interest in computer programming, but he hesitated about pursuing this passion initially because he felt like he wasn’t proficient enough to join the coding club at his school. In order to teach himself, he did coding camps online and watched YouTube videos to develop his skills. Elijah attended CUNY York, but ultimately needed to support his family and was working full-time when the pandemic hit. In the summer of 2021, he attended an info session for the Marcy Lab School’s Software Engineering Fellowship after using time in quarantine to work on his coding skills. He had completed an IT internship with St. Nick’s Alliance, but at the Marcy Lab, his teachers and coaches helped him get back into the habit of structural learning. At first it was frustrating–he struggled with backend development, but during the trial and error of a capstone project, he solidified his skills. He became more confident about his ability as a programmer, and he felt better about his ability to work with his teammates. As he neared the end of his fellowship, Elijah began to look for software engineering roles at organizations that make an impact, have a purpose, and also have a strong work culture.
This spring, Elijah was accepted to be part of the first cohort of Hack.Diversity based in New York City. Hack.Diversity seeks to transform the economy by breaking down barriers for Black and Latinx professionals in tech by focusing on empowering remarkable people to succeed within high-profile organizations. Elijah is excited to be working with a group of talented, driven programmers. As part of this paid fellowship, Elijah hopes to find an organization where he can work as a full-time computer engineer while also exploring topics within the field of computer science that he is passionate about.