Testimonials from recipients and donors

Scholarship Fund awards are not just about helping someone have an experience. That experience leads to insight, opportunity, and self-improvement that can yield new friends, new business contacts, new jobs, and even new careers. These outcomes are what drives our donors to help others.

Are you a recipient and want to share your story? Are you a donor and want to share why you donate? See how at the bottom of the page.

Recipient Testimonials

Kelauni Cook, 2016 recipient

Just 2.5 years ago, I moved to Pittsburgh to enter the tech industry as a former substitute teacher. Abstractions was the very first conference I’d attended in the city. Code & Supply embraced me as a “coding newbie” and understood that there was no way I’d be able to afford my ticket having moved here with just enough savings to afford my rent. I was able meet some amazing leaders in tech at Abstractions I, many of whom are still some of my greatest friends and mentors. But the cherry on top was my ability to network my way into my very first software development job with The Washington Post, which truly changed my life. Abstractions was awesome and I’m excited to now be able to pay that scholarship forward to another me at Abstractions II.

James˚, 2018 recipient

Unemployed and discouraged after searching for a new job for several months, James˚ attended a conference using a CSSF award, found new enlightenment and rediscovered a love of the community, and was able to parlay that into a job where he was promoted within months of restarting his career at an employer that more closely fit his culture expectations.

Anonymous, 2019 recipient

I found out about Abstractions II a couple weeks before it happened. As a junior developer on a junior developer salary and student loans, I definitely didn’t think I could go. I applied for the scholarship and was accepted and was SO excited. I ended up volunteering during the event as well and went to as many talks as I could. I met with some of the speakers after their talks because I was so inspired and wanted their insight on my own career questions and sometimes wanted more info on their experiences.

Olivia Liddell, 2018 recipient

In the Spring of 2018, I was thrilled to find out that I had been accepted to speak at the Heartifacts conference, and also that I had received a travel scholarship through the Code & Supply Scholarship Fund! I was excited to attend because I had never heard of such an event that specifically focused on the intersection between software development and mental health.

At Heartifacts, I gave a talk on how to overcome fear of failure. The topic is very close to my heart because I’ve struggled with fear of failure and imposter syndrome for most of my life, and I was even afraid to submit my application for Heartifacts out of the fear that I would be rejected.

At the same time, I was also in the process of applying for new jobs. I had been working in the field of educational technology, and I was interested in finding a new role that would allow me to focus more on technical training. My first conference talk wasn’t recorded, so I decided to use my phone to make sure that I could get a recording of myself speaking at Heartifacts. Once I was back home in Chicago, I took a 7-minute clip of my talk, uploaded it to YouTube as an unlisted video, and then put the link onto my resume as I continued to apply for jobs.

About a month later, I was in the final round of interviews at Cloudbakers, the company where I now work. As I met with several members of the team, including our CEO and CTO, everyone told me how watching that video of me speaking at Heartifacts played such a significant role in their decision to call me in for the interview… and then ultimately hire me. That also opened the door for me to speak with them about all of the other ways that I was positively impacted by my experience at Heartifacts, such as the importance of how to recognize and avoid burnout, and how to communicate in ways that are based on empathy and understanding.

I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I was given through the Code & Supply Scholarship Fund. Being able to speak at Heartifacts truly changed my life for the better, and it has put me in a position where I am able to train and educate others, to help improve their lives, too.

Anonymous, 2018 recipient

As a student of a remote web development bootcamp living in a small town, Code & Supply Scholarship Fund gave me the rare opportunity to meet and interact with real web developers in real life, for which I am very grateful. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to network, make the contacts I made, or have exposure to new topics and ideas presented in the talks. I left the conference feeling more confident in my ability to be a successful professional in the web development industry.

Shani, 2019 recipient

As a new dev and career changer this was my first conference. It was great to be able to see how many different topics were represented. I was happy to know so many people in the tech community; it was kind of surprising but also a relief.

Ari, 2019 recipient

The C&S Scholarship Fund gave me the opportunity to attend the Abstractions II conference, an event I still talk about often and can’t recommend enough. I am so grateful to the scholarship committee for considering my application! Without the scholarship I know I wouldn’t have been able to set aside the funds necessary for getting to Pittsburgh for the event. The scholarship allowed me to see the trip as a reality and from the start, I was so excited in knowing I could be part of the Abstractions II community. The scholarship allowed me to be able to overcome a financial barrier so that I could look to learning so much more about areas like web accessibility and the various ways tech professionals think outside of the box to improve services for their audiences.

Beyond my main goal of learning more about accessibility in tech, at Abstractions II I was able to learn about UX research, looking at Javascript from an object oriented perspective, and tips for leaning into your bad ideas to find better ones, just to name a few. I also was able to appreciate the attention to detail in organizing an event that takes its commitment to diversity and the needs of whole individuals seriously, particularly with spaces that allowed you to have moments to check out from the experience, as well as opportunities highlighted for attendees to socialize with others at the event. After Abstractions II, I arrived back home with a wealth of notes and links to talks, and a list I am still going through of topics to discover or deepen my knowledge of, all from just the three days in Pittsburgh.

While at Abstractions II there was an announcement made concerning the impact of the scholarship fund in terms of number of people it touches - for whatever number please add 35 and counting - following the event, I presented a talk for members of my cohort, all from typically underrepresented groups in tech, on my experience at the conference. This largely discussed moving past imposter syndrome as well as some of the key topic takeaways I had from Abstractions II. Since then, when sharing resources and hopes for the future with others, particularly with groups associated with women in tech, I recommend Abstractions II conference and I have been encouraging those who would really benefit from being a participant to apply to the scholarship fund. This is an organization that offers, through the scholarship, opportunities with immediate, visible positive outcomes. I am so glad to have had this opportunity and am grateful to have learned so much and made new friends from having had this chance to attend Abstractions II.

Craig, 2019 recipient

Attending Abstractions II (2019) was a life-changing experience, and yeah, I know, that sounds real cliché. But, as a graduate student studying abroad with essentially no background in coding or development, I had been looking for opportunities to deepen my skills in UI and learn about the technical aspects of the UX field without having to spend an arm and BOTH legs. While the combined cost of going to Abstractions II wasn’t so much that I couldn’t afford it, receiving a C&S scholarship made it that much more feasible for someone like me. And, the conference was, oh, so much more than I had expected. Throughout the short span of three days, I was inundated and with conversations of all angles from all kinds of people. At the conclusion, I was not only excited to continue building on my background in human-computer interaction, but also imbued with a desire for creativity and greatly inspired to improve my own methods, perspectives, and concepts for what it means to be a coder in this digital 21st century.

TL;DR | Attendees, Don’t hesitate and apply for funding if it’ll help you make the decision. In the future, you can be the one giving back. Supporters, THANK YOU for allowing me to participate in an unique learning experience that has helped shaped who I am.

Donor Testimonials

Jon Daniel, Lead Infrastructure Engineer & a recurring donor

I donate to the Code & Supply scholarship fund because access to education and opportunity is a critical part of a fair and just society. The kinds of opportunities tech provides cannot be reserved only for those who went to the right schools or grew up in the right zip codes.

Pittsburgh’s tech community helped me financially at a time when I needed it by letting me attend a conference when I was between jobs and short on funds. This conference introduced me to a lot of amazing people and lead me down a path that greatly benefited my career.

Generosity like that needs to be made available to as many people as possible. I refuse to gatekeep this path to others and want to live in a society where everyone has the opportunity to pursue a good life and meaningful career.

Recipients, tell us your outcomes! Donors, tell us why you support us!

Are you a recipient of a Scholarship Fund award? Share your story with us one of of these ways:

(˚some names changed for privacy reasons)