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Ignite Conference 2019 

2nd Phase Foundation Attends Ignite Conference 2019


Ciara Smith

November 25, 2019


The 2nd Phase Foundation was selected to attend Microsoft Ignite 2019 as part of its Nonprofit Fellowship Program. The program included a variety of speakers and panelists who are not afraid of tackling tough topics and having challenging conversations around diversity and what it means to have that in the tech industry. Many times, companies can fall into the trap of “hiring for diversity but managing for conformity” and that that does not allow for true diversity in a work environment. The program also stressed how “the importunate and value of diversity and inclusion is key in ensuring that we collectively build strong, creative, and uniquely diverse organizations in tech”. There was an emphasis on inclusion of all individuals, regardless of race, sex, age, gender, faith, sexual orientation, ability, neurodiversity, or anything else. People should be excepted for who they are no matter how they look or what they prefer. Thinking this way makes for real diversity not only through the tech industry, but throughout the workforce as a whole.


It was a pleasure to be selected to attend this conference. The foundation was able to gain many resources that will provide pathways for athletes looking to pursue a career in the tech field. Diverse teams provide diverse input and build great products for ALL people. Make sure you look at the list of resources that will help pursue a career in the teach world!


Tech World Resources 

  • LinkedIn REACH - REACH is a multi-year program where individuals with a passion for engineering will work in technical roles to build their skill set and gain the experience needed to become an Applications, Mobile, User Interface, or Site Reliability Engineer. The time each apprentice spends in this program will vary depending on their incoming skill set, experience, and progress through the program. The apprenticeship will consist of on-the-job technical responsibilities, mentorship, and dedicated time to independently develop technical skills. Compensation packages are available for all apprentices.


  • NYU Bridge to Tandon Program: a STEM Preparatory Course - “A Bridge to NYU Tandon" is a one-course online program uniquely designed to give individuals lacking a background in science or engineering a gateway into one of NYU’s select master’s degree program. Courses start every Winter, Spring, and Summer Semester and students who complete the intensive program with a B+ or better (and meet all other requirements for NYU’s School of Engineering admission requirements) can be admitted into a qualifying master’s program.

  • Google’s BOLD Internship Program - The Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Internship Program is a paid summer internship for rising undergraduate seniors that are interested in working in technology. BOLD interns are placed on teams across Sales, Marketing, gTech, and People Operations (Google’s Human Resources) to work on projects that vary in scope and length and are core to the company. Plus, all BOLD interns have the opportunity to be considered for a full-time role at Google at the conclusion of the internship. Students from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.


  • Microsoft's LEAP - LEAP Engineering Acceleration Program (LEAP) is an immersive, 16-week program that provides participants with real-world experience in the technology industry through development and project management apprenticeships. LEAP welcomes a diversity of participants with unique perspectives, who may have a non-traditional background or are returning from time away from the workplace. Those who complete the program successfully can potentially be offered full-time employment with Microsoft.

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