Student Stories WIT

Code Platoon Scholarships: Women in Technology

Preparing for a new career field can be an exciting process, but finding the right training program can be daunting. One of the main factors in choosing the right fit is cost. It’s not easy managing a career change while balancing everyday expenses. As a mission-driven nonprofit, Code Platoon’s goal is to provide viable financial options to our Veterans and military spouses, creating one less barrier between our students and their next profession.

To help ease our programs’ costs, we are fortunate enough to be able to provide generous scholarships to our students. Historically, students enrolled in our Coding Bootcamp programs have not had to pay more than $3,000 for their education. Here in this series, we break down the different scholarship opportunities, what they represent for us, and, more importantly, what they mean to some of our recipients.

The first scholarship that Code Platoon could offer to students was the Women in Technology scholarship with the intended goal of introducing more women Veterans into the tech field. While women make up roughly half of the workforce, careers in technology see a much lower turnout from women. According to reports to some of the biggest names in technology such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook, less than a quarter of technical jobs are taken up by women. There are several reasons this could be the case, but it is an odd concept for women not to take up more space at the table when one considers that some of the most influential programmers have been women.

Ada Lovelace, the world’s first programmer, Katherine Johnson, who plotted some of NASA’s first flight paths, and Chicago born Mary Allen Wilkes, credited for working on (and owning) the very first personal computer are just a few to list. While Code Platoon commends the progress these women and others have brought to the field of programming, the Women in Technology scholarship is awarded to a fellow female Veteran in honor of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, who was a pioneer in the tech field. Best known for her contributions to computer programming, software development, and the design and implementation of programming languages. Hopper developed the first compiler that translated mathematical code into machine-readable code, which was influential to creating the modern programming languages we know today.

One recipient of this scholarship is Christina Angeline, a Veteran of the Marine Corps who graduated from Code Platoon’s 9th cohort, India Platoon. After she was accepted to the program, Christina made the arrangements and moved to Chicago to be a part of the in-person Full-time program. From there, her life had changed radically.

“Getting the scholarship for Women in Tech really meant a lot,” says Christina. She had already exhausted her GI Bill benefits for an undergrad degree, and knowing that the program’s tuition was covered allowed her to better focus on learning how to code. “I’m grateful that they were there to help, and that Code Platoon has such a passion for helping people like myself, and Veterans and military spouses,” Christina says. She added that the Coding Bootcamp stands out from other programs because it’s tailored to the military-affiliated community.

Christina learned the programs Python and JavaScript, along with being certified for Agile, but the Code Platoon graduate also gained a new perspective on the soft skills of problem-solving. “The instructors point you in the right direction,” says Christina, noting that the environment Code Platoon provides students with the understanding that there are multiple ways to solve a problem.

It was only 25 days after Christina graduated with India Platoon that she landed a Full-time job with Lextegrity as an Associate Engineer. For anyone considering applying to Code Platoon or one of the scholarships available, she says, “Do it. One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life is going to Code Platoon. I’m doing what I love right now, and that’s coding.”

Amanda Michelle Gordon is one of Code Platoon’s summer interns, serving in the Content and Marketing department. She is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a student of SUNY New Paltz for Journalism and Sociology. In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, the outdoors, and turning coffee into the copy. You can find Amanda on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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