YWeb Career Academy Tackles Tech Diversity, Madison Racial Disparity
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someone to watch their children while they’re at class in the evenings. A few of the students are scraping by, “living hand to mouth,” says Annalise Haynes, an Adorable graphic designer who is currently focusing her time working as YWeb’s lead instructor.
“Many of the students are juggling other jobs and their families,” Krinsky says. “There are a lot of competing needs and often with few resources.”
YWeb organizers have gotten creative to solve some of those issues. Money from Adorable and the state grant went toward purchasing Macbook Air laptops for each student. The YWCA bought a few 4G hotspot devices so students can access the Internet outside of class, Remsik says. They’re also exploring offering on-site childcare during classroom sessions.
“We’re sort of willing it into existence,” Remsik says of the academy. “Both the Y and Adorable believe in the program and its outcome. We’re willing to invest in the success of this cohort so that we’re able to” continue offering the program, he says.
The plan is to run a shorter session over the summer—10 weeks of classes held during weekdays, Haynes says. It will target people ages 17 to 25, who are less likely to have obligations that might be barriers to participation. However, the academy won’t turn away older applicants, Krinsky says.
YWeb will need to raise more funds to sustain the program. The YWCA is applying for grants, and program organizers are also hosting fundraising events. The goal is to raise another $20,000 or more for this year’s budget, Krinsky says, plus more for future operations.