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Codesmith Scholarship Spotlight: Black Engineers Scholarship

At Codesmith, we are working to build an exceptional network of technically brilliant, collaborative, supportive, and empathetic software engineers. Our partial and full-tuition scholarships help us provide opportunities to Codesmith community members who exemplify our values, especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in tech.

The Codesmith Black Engineers Scholarship supports Black excellence in tech and fosters the growth of leaders dedicated to supporting the next generation of aspiring Black engineers. 

Our Black Engineers Scholarship recipients come from an array of professional and academic backgrounds – medicine, teaching, computer science, martial arts, and many more – to build meaningful careers in tech. 

For Drew T., a 2022 Black Engineers Scholarship recipient, the realization that software engineering was his path came at his consulting job after working on a team that was building an open source 3rd-party developer environment. 

“I got to see, in real-time, how code contributions from a single developer could be accepted by the community, iterated upon by hundreds of other developers, and woven into the fabric of a software ecosystem,” Drew said. “Watching a community of builders prioritize open access to valuable information and functionality over financial gain in order to achieve a common goal astonished me, and I immediately knew that I too wanted to be part of a similar process to solve problems I was passionate about.”

Similar to Drew, 2022 Black Engineers Scholar Karl E. also realized through his previous career that coding was his next path. After facilitating a CodeCombat competition as a middle school STEM teacher, Karl knew he’d found his passion in coding.

“Building and creating systems taps into my creative edge, and solving the problems I encounter along the way has sharpened my analytical ability,” Karl, a current Codesmith Engineering Fellow, said. “I aim to make a difference in my community and receiving a scholarship has absolutely been the difference-maker when it comes to affording quality education and resources to share with my community.”

Fellow 2022 Black Engineers Scholar Laurence D. transitioned from rocket science to software engineering with Codesmith. Discover how her astronautical engineering degree inspired her solo project – a live tracker for upcoming rocket launches!

Codesmith Engineering Mentor and alum Chacta B. was a martial arts instructor and kinesiology student prior to Codesmith. 

“The plan was simple: get straight A’s, become a physical therapist, and live happily ever after,” Chacta, a 2022 Black Engineers Scholarship recipient, said. “The only problem was, that I never really considered if I was happy or interested in my studies. After years of searching for a career that I could see myself doing long-term, I finally found it in [software] engineering and Codesmith is helping me achieve it.”

For Drew, the coding journey is about more than pursuing a career in tech. 

“As technology becomes more pervasive, it becomes increasingly important for the Black community to have a seat at the table to help design the products and systems that will define their lives for the foreseeable future,” Drew said. “In order to build solutions that benefit all people, it is necessary to give those that are most proximate to the issues of their communities a platform to have a voice. The Black Engineers Scholarship aids in this mission by creating a pipeline of empathetic engineers who now have the technical abilities to build and create equitable opportunities for the communities that need them the most.”

Codesmith’s rigorous curriculum and supportive community stood out to our scholars in the decision process and during the software engineering immersive.

“The curriculum that you will be expected to learn is complicated and requires a resilient mindset to push through when things get tough,” Chacta said. “The program they have built is designed to push students to become self-reliant, resourceful, and empathetic engineers. Coming to Codesmith has been a life-changing experience and I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing community.”

The curriculum and Codesmith’s hard learning philosophy are challenging, but Codesmith Engineering Fellow and 2022 Black Engineers Scholar Vivian O. reminds aspiring engineers that it will be worth it on the other side.

“Trust that others have walked in the same path as you and succeeded,” Vivian said. “Trust that others have felt the same as you and still pushed through, successfully completing the program. And most of all, trust that you worked hard to be where you are today and are exactly where you need to be.”

Learn more about the Black Engineers Scholarship and Codesmith’s other full and partial tuition scholarships on our scholarship overview page. Check out what other members of our community have shared on the Codesmith Alumni playlist on YouTube.