Helping Underserved Communities with Mentorship and Pirate School

TL:DR; Pirate School is now a fiscally sponsored project by Code for South Florida under our Diversity in Tech initiative. As a 501(c)(3) organization all donations are tax-deductible towards this project. 

March 16, 2020 — Miami’s digital divide is real. While our region grows with new talent, founders and funders we know that statistically the tech workforce has a problem with diversity and inclusion. South Florida is in unique position to tell a different story but this story doesn’t happen without a mover. It requires coordination by people who have landed tech jobs and led successful careers in a network. Last year, we made a bet on Front-End Miami to build community. This year we are making another bet to advance tech-practioner led communities. We are sponsoring Pirate School led by Ptah Dunbar as a fiscal project partnership to accelerate the mentorship for minority communities. 

A part of our Diversity in Technology Initiative is providing pathways to help support and guide the next generation of South Floridian technologists. The best way to do this is to set leaders who received offers and climbed the tech ladder. Ptah Dunbar has that experience and more. He has been a CTO for hire who has run Dev Agency and helped support Code for South Florida on major software projects with various non-profits. Currently, he works at a public traded company, New Relic, as a Solution Consultant. He has had a track record of teaching, supporting, and being an active tech ecosystem leader. This is why this sponsorship will propel his existing work and vision to build a non-profit corporation on this work in the future.

Through the sponsorship of  Pirate School, we hope to help Ptah shape a vision for providing mentorship and opportunities that lead to more minorities leveling up in their tech careers. We will support channels that guide local talent in cohorts or groups through specific programming that he will run independently. Through his partnership, we will shape new models on this and hope to see his growth and launch of a non-profit organization that will scale up this work beyond Year 1 into something of a repeatable impact.

We are building out a core program that helps provide mentorship quarterly on an ongoing basis of our Diversity in Tech mentorship program. 

Code for South Florida will use this sponsorship to help further our goals towards helping build a civic-minded workforce that focuses on accelerating contributions of local talent with government and charities. In the last years operating we noticed an uptick in feedback from junior or entry-level contributors for mentorship on projects. To help fill this gap, we are building out a core program that helps provide mentorship quarterly on an ongoing basis in our Diversity in Tech mentorship program.

Code for South Florida’s fiscal partnership is a part of our Diversity in Technology initiative 2021 goal to accelerate our reach in hard-to-reach and underserved communities increasing civic engagement across South Florida. We hope to support Pirate School as we build a mentorship framework centered around connecting talent across different levels and trades to participate in contributing to charities and government open data projects.