Rodney Sampson And Partners Plan To Give $1M-A-Year In Scholarships To Coders Of Color

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Rodney Sampson, CEO of Atlanta-based Opportunity Hub, has partnered with the New York-based Flatiron School, a coding bootcamp, to make available more than $1 million a year in coding school scholarships for students and professionals of color seeking a career in tech or entrepreneurship.

The OHUB@Flatiron partnership is kicking off a six-city promotional tour — the  #TechtoWealth Tour — starting today in Atlanta to promote the multi-million dollar coding scholarship and jobs initiative.

The tour will be held in some of the cities where Jay-Z’s and Beyonce’s On the Run II Tour concerts are scheduled.

Young Guru, Jay-Z’s audio engineer and DJ, will headline the tour and perform a set at each stop. Diverse innovators, technologists, and entrepreneurs will participate in a discussion in each city, according to a press release.

In Atlanta, Young Guru will be joined by Sampson; Mailchimp Director of Quality Assurance Daniel Waithe; and Patientory CEO Chrissa McFarlane, who raised $7.2 million for her blockchain startup in three days. The event will be hosted by writer and commentator, Jamilah Lemieux.

Sampson is a pioneering name in economic opportunity for Black tech. OHUB has become the largest multi-campus entrepreneurship center and tech hub in the U.S. focused on diversity and inclusion as a business thesis for developing startups. It aims to disrupt poverty in socially disadvantaged communities. Sampson is committed to connecting HBCU endowments to Black tech, and he also founded HBCU@SXSW.

Launched in 2012, Flatiron School is the longest-standing coding boot camp in the U.S., according to Hypepotamus.  Is has graduated 2,000 students from its 15-week courses in full stack development and data science, as well as its online program, learn.co.

Flatiron, which opened an Atlanta campus this month, is owned by WeWork, a company that transforms buildings into collaborative workspaces, tech startup subculture communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers and startups.

In partnership with OHUB, Flatiron will provide $1 million a year in scholarships annually to people of color from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, starting with Atlanta.

“More and more we are seeing entertainers, celebrities, professional athletes and influencers with large platforms like Lebron James, Will Smith and Beyonce lend their influence and money to K-12 education, HBCU scholarships and startup investment funds for people of color,” Sampson said in a prepared statement.

“To this end, we began building relationships with artists like 21 Savage and Young Guru to open doors and back technology education and startup ecosystem building specifically. The majority of future jobs, high-growth startup ventures and multi-generational wealth building opportunities are in tech and are disrupting every major industry on the planet. Flatiron and WeWork believed in this vision and here we are.”

Partners in the scholarship initiative include OHUB, WeWork, Flatiron School and Values Partnership, a social impact agency that develops creative engagement campaigns for diverse sectors and audiences, and markets and produces films and TV programs.

The six-city #TechtoWealth Tour includes stops at:

  • Atlanta, GA (Aug. 24)
  • Houston (Sept. 14)
  • Los Angeles (Sept. 21)
  • Santa Clara (Sept. 28)
  • Vancouver, BC (Oct. 1)
  • Seattle, Washington (Oct. 3)

The Flatiron Opportunity Scholarship will launch in late August 2018, providing full- and partial-tuition scholarships to Flatiron School’s software engineering and data science courses in NYC, London, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, and online.

You can apply for the OHUB@Flatiron scholarship here.