CODE2040 is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways to educational, professional, and entrepreneurial success in the innovation economy for underrepresented minorities with a specific focus on Blacks and Latino/as.
CODE2040’s flagship program is the summer Fellows Program, which places high performing Black and Latino/a software engineering students in internships with top tech companies and provides them with a leadership development curriculum.
TechSistas is profiling CODE2040 and some of the women who comprise the program. To give to CODE2040, click here. These sistas are always in the process of raising funds to support their good work!
Laura Weidman Powers: Co-Founder, Executive Director
Laura is the co-founder and Executive Director of CODE2040, a nonprofit which creates pathways to success in the innovation economy for Blacks and Latino/as. She brings to this work a background in entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, youth development, and technology. Laura has started two organizations in the education space, one nonprofit arts education organization in West Philadelphia that is currently celebrating its 10th year, and one for-profit tutoring company that gave rise to a book. Laura first explored the tech space as a project manager in a small web development shop in New York and, most recently before CODE2040, she served as VP of Product at a consumer web startup in Los Angeles, redesigning the product development process to be inclusive of engineers.
Laura is a 2013 Echoing Green and Open Society Foundations Black Male Achievement Fellow and a 2013 Stanford Social Innovation Fellow. The Root named her one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in 2013 and Goldman Sachs named her one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2013. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, NBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, NPR, and others.
She has a BA cum laude from Harvard College and a JD and an MBA from Stanford University.
Ingrid Avendaño, University of Pittsburgh
Ingrid is an Electrical and Computer Engineering and Art major at the University of Pittsburgh, and worked at Jawbone doing R&D work on the acoustic engineering team as a Fellow. Initially she started college as an art major exclusively, but switched into engineering after a $20 bet to learn how to program. Since then she has become involved in hackerspaces and the maker movement, and did research work at Carnegie Mellon University in industrial design and robotics. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Ingrid grew up in Minnesota, yet spent majority of her childhood in Southeast Asia. In her free time Ingrid creates interactive paintings with reprogrammable circuits embedded into canvases, tinkers with wearable electronics, 3D printers and 3D modeling.
Alex Cattron, Stanford University
Hailing from Detroit, MI, Alexandria Cattron is a graduate of Stanford University. She received her BS in Computer Science with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. At Stanford, she worked on projects involving the Microsoft Kinect including a gesture-based navigation system and a full-body animation storytelling game. Alexandria is passionate about creating software that fulfills users’ needs and is easy to use. She hopes to discover a new design opportunity that leads her to found her own startup. After graduation she joined eGain as a software engineer working on the company’s newest web applications. Alex is currently the CTO and Co-Founder of Benjii, a financial services platform that helps minority-owned businesses raise capital.
Janeth Moran-Cervantes, CSU Channel Islands
Janeth Moran-Cervantes is a second year Computer Science Masters student at California State University Channel Islands, where she also graduated with her BA and double majored in Computer Science and Mathematics. As an undergrad, she focused on mathematical and artificial intelligence related research projects, one for which she won first place in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences category for her presentation and research at the CSU Research Competition. At the same time, she worked a part time job and tutored high school AVID students for five years. She is currently a teaching assistant for an Introduction to Programming class. She spent her time as a Fellow on Jawbone’s Algorithms team as an intern.
Shola Oyedele, Stanford University
Shola Oyedele is a senior studying Science, Technology & Society with a concentration in Computer Science at Stanford University. Although originally from Maryland, Shola spent the 2013 summer working at Docmunch as a Front-End Developer. On campus, she holds leadership positions in her local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and in Stanford’s Women in Computer Science Club. Shola enjoys staying active, and her main interests in tech are mobile computing, search, design, and innovation in developing countries.
Amy Quispe, Carnegie Mellon University
Amy Quispe graduated from the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. She is the founder of ScottyLabs, a student-driven technical resource group which hosts hackathons and weekly hack sessions, provides technical education for the community, creates APIs for school data and otherwise advocates for innovators at Carnegie Mellon.
Amy is a hackNY and CODE2040 alumna from the summer of 2012. She was also a speaker and mentor for Girls Who Code, and was a featured speaker at New York Tech Meetup’s “Conversations with Women in Tech.” After graduating in 2013, she joined Google as a developer programs engineer.