A Gift That Gives Back
WEconnect and Ada team up to empower women and gender-expansive individuals in future tech careers
Giving Tuesday is a time to bolster the work of those enacting positive change in the world. For WEconnect software developer Emily Gordon, donating to Ada was a way to make an impact toward a personal cause.
“My job is to bring the WEconnect app to life. I build new features, fix technical issues, and make sure our app is reliable and accessible to members who are trying to build healthy habits in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD),” she says. “And I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my time at Ada.”
Named after Ada Lovelace—a renowned mathematician and the world’s very first computer programmer—Ada Developers Academy is a nonprofit, cost-free coding school. Their mission is to prepare women and gender-expansive adults to be software developers while advocating for inclusive and equitable work environments.
“I know the impact Ada has because of the impact it made on me. Ada opened up a totally new career path for me where I’m able to build solutions and products that can help improve people’s lives in a real way. I’m so grateful for that opportunity.”
Recently, WEconnect’s Diversity, Inclusivity, Respect, and Equity (DIRE) committee held an annual donation matching program encouraging employees to donate to humanitarian causes of their choice. The incentive? CEO Daniela Luzi Tudor would be matching 200% of all employee donations, thus tripling the impact of their contributions.
“WEconnect is a socially driven corporation. We wanted to incorporate the spirit of last summer's events and the surge of donations that followed into our daily lives,” says Jordan Epps of the DIRE committee. “We want to continue the tradition and incorporate it into our community-focused mission.”
“It made sense to continue encouraging fundraising for the other organizations we believe in, both individually and as a company. The fact that Daniela was gracious enough to match 2:1 was just icing on the cake. It really speaks to how much she is willing to put her money where her mouth is when it comes to stepping up and standing by our company’s values.”
For Emily, who was already making monthly donations to Ada, this was an opportunity to triple her support. Before Ada, Emily worked in the nonprofit sector, so it’s fitting that her work at WEconnect brings together those two important facets of her history. “To be able to work together with organizations who have a strong social impact brings it all together for me,” Emily says.
“This donation drive is so important for WEconnect’s social impact as well as for me personally,” says WEconnect co-founder and CEO Daniela Luzi Tudor. “Being in a position to encourage and redouble the impact of employee donations comes from a sense of duty for me. And it’s so empowering for us as a team.”
The impact Ada makes on the lives of its students is tremendous. Even a $25 donation can help those who stand to benefit most: Black, Latine, Indigenous Americans, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, LGBTQIA2+, and low-income folks preparing for a variety of tech industry careers.
“We’re honored to team up to directly impact incredible organizations like Ada and empower BIPOC, LGBTQIA2+, Latine, Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, and low-income folks,” says Daniela. “We’re working together toward our shared dream of making the world a better place and making tech culture more inclusive.”
As partner organizations and alumni of Ada reflect on their progress this year, they should consider the impact their organization is making on a community level as well. Donation dollars, especially when enhanced by a matching program, make a huge difference in people’s lives. In Ada’s case, donation dollars go directly to covering service costs for students and expanding services offered through the academy.
With Ada’s Atlanta campus location opening in 2022, there’s never been a better time to join their monthly Sustainers donation program and/or institute a donation matching program to enhance your company’s community impact.
“By raising $50,000 this Giving Tuesday, we will be able to offer support services to our new Adies in Atlanta,” says Rakia Wells, Ada’s Marketing and Communication Manager. “Our support services include access to free therapy, transportation support, and internet and laptop access.”
Ada offers a Sustainers program, which is a giving opportunity for folks to choose the amount they’d like to donate on a monthly basis. Even small monthly gifts add up. “If someone makes a $25 recurring gift, they'll be donating $300 annually,” says Christina Ratkus, Ada’s Development Manager, “Which would provide enough funds for an Adie to attend monthly therapy during the program at no cost.”
For those who want to maximize their impact by making a gift of $1,000 (whether by recurring donation or one-time gift), they could provide an Adie with a laptop and wifi access to complete the program with Ada. That’s a life-changing donation!
Supporting others starting out on their journey into the tech industry is really what makes donating personal for Emily; “Ada is the reason why I became a software developer, which is why it’s important for me to support it today,” Emily says.
The joy and gift of a new future is unparalleled, and there’s no better feeling than giving back to a cause that matters to you. Happy Giving Tuesday, and consider donating to Ada this holiday season!