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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.

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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 beginning Summer/Fall 2020.

Citi Logo
TrialSpark logo
Datadog logo
FuboTV logo
Code Academy logo
MediaMath logo
Infinia ML logo
Justworks logo

Committed speakers include...

V. Rao Dumpeti
Technologist, Entrepreneur, and Leader
Byron Auguste
CEO and Co-founder at Opportunity@Work

Formerly Deputy Director, National Economic Council at the White House

Chris Motley
Founder & CEO at Mentor Spaces
Clyde Ford
Author
Saron Yitbarek
Founder, Code Newbies

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

What does it mean to be a JSF Fellow?

Upon beginning their new role, JSF Fellows will receive weekly and monthly mentorship from within 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 our Flatiron School career coaches to navigate on-the-job acclimation and performance. Lastly, we will be organizing frequent leadership town halls with diverse tech professionals sharing their personal journeys with our Fellows.

What is the application process like? What is the selection process like for employment opportunities?
  1. Enrolled students submit their application

  2. Application approved → Student is notified that they are an approved “Candidate” for the JSF Fellowship, within 5 business days of application submission

    1. Application denied → Student is notified that they have not been approved as a Candidate for the JSF Fellowship, due to not meeting eligibility criteria

  3. Candidate profiles are shared with participating Employer Partners for consideration for relevant employment opportunities → Student is ONLY notified if they are invited to interview (see next step)

  4. Employer Partners select Candidates from that pool to interview for positions → Student is notified that they are being invited to interview

  5. Employer Partners extend offers directly to selected Candidates upon completion of the interview process.

  6. Once a student accepts an offer from a participating Employer Partner, they become JSF Fellows and are invited to participate in related programming.

Are all Black students and alumni automatically considered to be JSF Fellows?

No. Eligibility criteria and application instructions can be found here. Specifically, students must identify as Black or Multi-Racial including Black, and provide permission to have their data shared with relevant stakeholders for purposes of operating the Fellowship.

I’m a student who is scheduled to begin my course soon, but have not yet matriculated. Can I apply?

Yes, all enrolled Flatiron students, as well as Flatiron alumni, can apply, but JSF Fellow candidates are unlikely to be presented with relevant employment opportunities until after they graduate. The initial Fellowship cohorts will have employment start dates between September and December 2020, after which we will collect feedback and evaluate our ongoing efforts to advance Black tech professionals – whether through a continuation of the John Stanley Ford Fellowship, or through other initiatives.

When will students hear about their application status?

All students who apply will be updated on their application status within 5 business days of submitting their application.

  • Students who meet the eligibility criteria will be notified that they are approved “Candidates” for the JSF Fellowship, placing them in a pool of candidates available for consideration by participating Employer Partners.

  • Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria will be notified that they have not been approved, due to not meeting eligibility criteria.

If a student is an approved Candidate for the JSF Fellowship, are they guaranteed to be presented with employment opportunities in connection with the Fellowship?

Employer Partners will extend interview invitations to the candidate pool based on each Partner’s unique hiring criteria, as well as the timing and location of relevant employment opportunities. A student whose JSF Fellowship candidacy is approved is not guaranteed to be invited to interview for a relevant employment opportunity.

If a student is invited to interview with an Employer Partner in connection with a Fellowship employment opportunity, are they guaranteed an offer of employment?

Employers will each run independent interview processes for their role openings. An opportunity to interview for a position is not a guarantee that a student will receive an offer for that position.

If a student receives an offer of employment in connection with the Fellowship, are they obligated to accept?

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

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 People of Color 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 for the scholarship?

The scholarship program has not yet been finalized. Qualified applicants will be Black prospective students. Details will follow.