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The John Stanley Ford Fellowship

Flatiron School has launched the John Stanley Ford Fellowship to support the advancement of Black tech professionals, partnering with companies to offer apprenticeships and sponsorships.

JSF logo

Black tech professionals make up just 7% of the high tech sector. We want to change that. Flatiron School is launching the John Stanley Ford Fellowship to support the advancement of Black tech professionals by creating long-lasting change. 

Through this program, we're partnering with companies to create 4-month-long apprenticeships that offer on-the-job training, ongoing mentorship and ultimately access and opportunities to the Tech community. 

The John Stanley Ford Fellowship's north star is apprentice success. We believe that the John Stanley Ford Fellows will be the most smart and capable talent entering the workforce and so we have created a program of support along the way to ensure they have the tools to succeed. Every JSF Fellow will receive weekly and monthly mentorship from within their hiring company along with an opportunity to interview for a full-time position prior to the end of their apprenticeship. They will also become a part of the larger JSF network having real-time access to their peers along with ongoing career coaching to navigate on-the-job acclimation and performance. Lastly, we will be organizing frequent leadership town halls with Black tech professionals sharing their personal journeys with our fellows. 

Together we can work towards racial equity in tech.

Become a hiring partner

How to participate in the John Stanley Ford Fellowship program.

What our partners and allies commit to the JSF Fellowship
  • Hire at least 2 of Flatiron School's Black alumni as Fellows

  • Apprenticeships must be a minimum 4-month duration, and provide $60,000 annualized compensation

  • Each Fellow must have weekly 1:1s with their direct manager, as well as monthly 1:1s with a mentor from within the company

  • Provide an opportunity to interview for a full-time position prior to the end of the apprenticeship

What Flatiron commits to its Hiring Partners and JSF Fellows hired into apprenticeships
  • Best practices on how to hire and onboard apprentices, as well as training sessions for designated mentors at your company. 

  • Peer community and networking channels across all partners

  • Ongoing career coaching to navigate on-the-job acclimation and performance

  • Leadership Town Halls with Black tech professionals sharing their personal journeys

Meet John Stanley Ford, the first Black software engineer in America

John Stanley Ford Group Picture

John Stanley Ford was a pioneer in the earliest days of computing. He was the first Black engineer, not only at IBM, but in America. Ford, hired in 1946, spent his days building the predecessor to IBM’s first commercial business computer while coaching other African-Americans to get hired at IBM. Even though his career was marked with struggle and hardship, his legacy will be remembered for his fight to reach equity in the workplace and his dedication to creating opportunities for others.

We have partnered with John Stanley Ford's estate to create this fellowship program. If you want to learn more about John Stanley Ford's life and the history of Black professionals in the tech sector, Clyde Ford, John Stanley Ford's son, recently released Think Black a novel centered around his father's and his journey inside corporate America. 

John Stanley Ford Fellowship Hiring Partners

These companies have already committed to the advancement of Black tech professionals by creating multiple apprenticeships.

Citi Logo
TrialSpark logo
Datadog logo
FuboTV logo
Code Academy logo
MediaMath logo
Infinia ML logo
Justworks logo
Meetup
Taxjar
Logo: Fanduel
Logo: Liberty Mutual
Logo: Giant Machines
Logo: Flexe
Chubb logo
Logo: wunderkind
Logo: VTS
Logo: Cvent
Logo: Common App
splash logo
Tpx logo this is a JSF partner
PagerDuty logo - JSF partner
Ring Central logo JSF partner

Committed 2021 speakers include...

Clyde Ford
Author, Think Black
Saron Yitbarek
Founder, Code Newbies
Maria Naggaga
Senior Program Manager, Microsoft
Curtis Cox
Founder, Curtis Careers
Karen Nixon
Career Coach, Flatiron School

Resources and community

A look at the realities of where we are today and some thought starters on how we can create lasting change.

The JSF Fellowship: A Step Forward as We Strive for Racial Equity and Equal Opportunities in Tech
In Response to Current Events
What Is Our Career Services Team and How Do We Work With Students?

Frequently asked questions — for graduates

What does it mean to be a JSF Candidate?

A grad who is approved as a JSF Candidate enters the pool of available candidates for the Employer Partnerships team to present to JSF Hiring Partners. However, being a JSF Candidate does not guarantee introductions, interviews or employment opportunities.

What does it mean to be a JSF Fellow?

A JSF Fellow is a JSF Candidate who has received and accepted an offer of employment from a JSF Hiring Partner. Upon beginning their new role, JSF Fellows will receive weekly and monthly mentorship from their employer, along with an opportunity to interview for a full-time position prior to the end of their apprenticeship. JSF Fellows will also become a part of the larger JSF network having real-time access to their peers, along with ongoing career coaching from a Flatiron School career coach to navigate on-the-job acclimation and performance. Lastly, Flatiron School organizes frequent leadership town halls with diverse tech professionals sharing their personal journeys.

What is a JSF Hiring Partner?

JSF Hiring Partners work with our Employer Partnerships team to identify JSF Candidates that meet their unique hiring criteria, and conduct interviews. They have signed a commitment letter and have agreed to hire at least 2 JSF Fellows from amongst the pool of JSF Candidates. All opportunities must be a minimum of 4 months in duration and offer a minimum of $60,000 in annualized compensation. JSF Hiring Partners will provide Fellows with weekly 1:1s with their direct manager, as well as monthly 1:1s with a mentor from within the company. They will also provide Fellows with the opportunity to interview for a full-time position prior to the end of the apprenticeship. Flatiron School will give JSF Hiring Partners best practices on how to hire and onboard apprentices, as well as training sessions for designated mentors at their companies.

What are the eligibility requirements to be a JSF Candidate?

As of April 1, 2021

  • Must be a graduate of Flatiron School or SecureSet, and have an assigned Flatiron School career coach

  • Must identify as Black or Multi-Racial including Black

  • Must consent to having their application and other information shared with JSF Hiring Partners (including, for example, resume and LinkedIn profile)

I’m a Person of Color but not Black. Why are only Black students eligible for this Fellowship?

We have many efforts in place to increase access and opportunity for BIPOC and underrepresented groups in tech – from our Access Scholarships, to our Women Take Tech initiative, to our NexTech100 scholarships. With the John Stanley Ford Fellowship, we wanted to build a program and resources specifically to increase opportunity and access for our Black students and alumni.

How do I apply to be a JSF Candidate?

The eligibility criteria and application can be found here.

Are Black grads automatically considered JSF Candidates?

No. If you meet the eligibility criteria, please apply here.

I submitted an application to be a JSF Candidate. When will I hear back?

Within 5-10 business days of submitting an application.

Is there a deadline for submitting an application to be a JSF Candidate?

The application is open indefinitely, with new calls for applications being issued on a quarterly basis. If you have previously been approved as a Candidate, you do not need to re-apply every quarter.

Why was my application to be a JSF Candidate rejected?

If your application was rejected, you answered “No” to one or more eligibility questions. Eligibility:

  • Must be a graduate of Flatiron School or SecureSet, and have an assigned Flatiron School career coach

  • Must identify as Black or Multi-Racial including Black

  • Must consent to having their application and other information shared with JSF Hiring Partners (including, for example, resume and LinkedIn profile)

Does being approved as a JSF Candidate guarantee employment opportunities through the Employer Partnerships team?

No, JSF Candidates are NOT guaranteed to be invited to interview for a relevant employment opportunity. JSF Hiring Partners will extend interview invitations to the candidate pool based on their unique hiring criteria, as well as the timing and location of relevant employment opportunities.

Is being invited to interview with a JSF Hiring Partner a guarantee of employment?

No, an opportunity to interview for a position is not a guarantee that the JSF Candidate will receive an offer for that position. Employers will each run independent interview processes for their role openings.

If I receive an offer of employment from a JSF Hiring Partner, am I obligated to accept?

No, JSF Candidates make the ultimate determination about whether to accept any offer of employment. JSF Candidates are encouraged to work with their career coaches to assess all offers of employment.

What is the conversion rate for JSF Fellows from apprenticeship to full-time salaried role?

100% of the JSF Fellows that started in apprenticeships have transitioned into full-time salaried roles.

Frequently asked questions — for employers

What do I commit to as a JSF Hiring Partner?

JSF Hiring Partners agree to hire at least 2 JSF Fellows from Flatiron’s pool of JSF Candidates. All opportunities must be a minimum of 4 months in duration and offer a minimum of $60,000 in annualized compensation. JSF Hiring Partners must provide Fellows with weekly 1:1s with their direct manager, as well as monthly 1:1s with a mentor from within the company. You must also provide Fellows with the opportunity to interview for a full-time position prior to the end of the apprenticeship.

If I commit now, when do I need to hire by?

If you sign on as a Partner in 2021, you commit to hiring for start dates that are no later than December 31, 2021.

What do I get as a JSF Hiring Partner?

All JSF Hiring Partners will have the 1:1 support of a member of our Employer Partnerships team, who will help you identify best-fit candidates for your team from our pool of qualified Black alumni. The EP team can also assist with scheduling interviews, making introductions to candidates, building out custom interview days for your team, and otherwise facilitating the interview process. JSF Hiring Partners receive exclusive access to training on Hiring & Onboarding, and Mentorship best practices. Partners may also have the opportunity to participate in PR opportunities related to the program, via testimonials, interviews, press releases, etc.

Do I get to choose who I interview and hire?

Yes. Our Employer Partnerships team will recommend relevant candidates based on discussed criteria, but ultimately you decide who to interview and hire.

If I make an offer to a JSF candidate, are they obligated to accept?

No, JSF Candidates make the ultimate determination about whether to accept any offer of employment.

Can I schedule a call to learn more?

Yes! Please reach out to hire@flatironschool.com, and a member of our team will follow up.