Tuition-free school in Atlanta breaking barriers for a more diverse workforce

The program is tuition free. The academy is a non-profit.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:58 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - There is a new school in Atlanta created to remove barriers for women, black and brown people, low-income people, and gender-expansive people free of charge.

”We oftentimes want to think about all things being equal, that we can all achieve. The reality in this country is that things have never been equal,” said Danielle Ishem VP of Equity and Policy for Ada Developers Academy, “It takes programs like ours that are willing to shine a light on the inequities, to shine a light on the disparities and then provide the opportunity to overcome those obstacles and barriers.”

Ada Developers Academy is just minutes away from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

”The reason I am here is to make more room for black and brown folks in technology. There is not enough room for us in this space,” said Ghameerah McCullers, Instructor at Ada Developers Academy, Atlanta Campus.

The program is intense but the hard work pays off.

”We are really looking to change the face of tech,” said Bethany Lindsey VP of Education and Innovation for Ada Developers Academy.

Big tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Hulu sponsor students, in some cases these sponsorships became full-time jobs for Ada students.

”We have 6 months of classroom followed by 5 months of internship in industry,” said Lindsey.

The program is tuition free. The academy is a non-profit.

”We provide every one of our students with free mental health therapy...we have a laptop program for our students who are low income...we actually provide a childcare stipend to our students with young children...we don’t believe in a grading system,” said Lindsey.

Amanda Jones is one of the Academy’s new students. She is switching careers from nursing to technology and moved to Atlanta on Friday just to go to school at Ada.

”I see endless possibilities. I feel like this program will give me so many skills and tools to kind of propel me forward into this career field,” said Amanda Jones, a current student at Ada Developers Academy.