Ariana Gardner, University of Massachusetts Boston computer science grad & 2018 Hack.Diversity Fellow

When the New England Venture Capital Association (NEVCA) launched Hack.Diversity in 2016, they did so with the goal of addressing the underrepresentation of high-skilled minority employees in Boston’s tech industry. After selecting 9 UMass Boston students to represent their 2019 Fellows, NEVCA has moved several paces forward with this goal.

The Fellows will each receive training, coaching, and mentoring during the program. The goal by the end of the program is for fellows to land full-time positions in the tech companies for which they have interned. Some of the Boston-based tech companies that have partnered with Hack.Diversity’s fellowship program include Carbonite, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Athenahealth, and DraftKings. The Fellows will be interviewing with the different tech companies in March.

From accounts of the 2018 Fellows, Hack.Diversity was a stepping stone towards their future in tech. Ariana Gardner, UMass Boston computer science grad, said:

“Hack.Diversity has given me the opportunity to prove myself and to reach my goals.”

Ariana interned at Carbonite, then immediately landed a full-time job as release engineer at American Well, a fast growing IT company that connects users instantly with doctors over video feed. The company was founded in 2006, and has raised $517M in venture capital.

Ariana said she believes that programs like Hack.Diversity are imperative for talent from different backgrounds. “From my own experience, in a lot of my classes, I was one of the few African American females. I know there’s a lot of young women and young men of color who want to explore their interests without feeling like they’re going to be ostracized.”

On October 3, 2018 the Office of Career Services & Internships and the Venture Development Center organized an information session for UMass Boston students interested in Hack.Diversity. According to Hack.Diversity’s Angela Liu, 36 UMass Boston students applied to the program and 21 were interviewed. Hack.Diversity extended 2019 fellowship offers to 10 students, and 9 accepted. A total of 50 Fellows were selected from 20 different universities. 18% are from UMass Boston.

The 2019 UMass Boston Fellows, all computer science or information technology majors, are:

  • Jeffter Louzada
  • Darian Dias
  • Amin Ahmed
  • Benjamin Eduwensuyi
  • Cassio Ferreira
  • Felix Garcia
  • Reynerio Sarmiento
  • Steven Garcia
  • Paul Le