Dear ColorStack Family & Friends,
2020 was a year unlike any other, a year when so many of us dealt with loss, heartbreak, and inhumane levels of stress. But amidst the hardships there’s still plenty to be thankful for. For us, we celebrate the founding of ColorStack and the work we’ve begun to carry out for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Computer Science students. As always, we have been and will continue to be guided by our mission to increase the entrance, retention, and success of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Computer Science students. We envision a future where ColorStack members account for 50% of the annual CS graduates, confidently launching careers in Engineering, Product, Research, and Entrepreneurship.
In our first seven months of our operation we’ve:
- Hosted 50+ events in support of our members
- Connected over 750 students through our Slack and 1100 through our email list
- Raised over $500k to seed our work
- Scaled our team from a solo founder to a team of four
- Changed the lives of students like Luc Garabrant and Ifeanyi Onyeanakwe along the way
And we succeeded in all of this while having to adapt to the new normal of life under the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, our work has barely begun. We want to build on our successes from our first year to make 2021 the year we secure our programming’s foundation. As part of our efforts to improve, we are refocusing on the needs of our students. They are the reason we exist and we believe that they should be the center for every decision we make.
This year we are introducing the Sprout Fellowship to help struggling members develop the confidence and foundation they need to stay in Computer Science. We strongly believe this is going to be our flagship program that will unlock the next tens of thousands of annual Black and Brown CS grads. And to further support our students outside of this fellowship, we will be adding more structured career development programming, such as a career development bootcamp before recruiting season and a career fair in the heart of it. We’re also doubling down on our investment in our Slack community; it’s the foundation of our work. Our community underpins everything that we do by being a constant resource that lives beyond any one event or initiative. We look forward to strengthening our event series, increasing member-to-member connections, and further documenting individual learnings to benefit the community as a whole.
This journey hasn’t been and won’t get any easier, but what keeps me motivated is the impact on our students and the amazing team I get to work with daily. Thank you all for being a part of the journey and I hope you will continue to support us along the way.
Jehron Petty // Founder and CEO