Hack.Diversity, the New England Venture Capital Association’s initiative to help diversity the ranks of Boston’s fastest growing tech companies, has selected 17 Fellows from UMass Boston. Fellows participate in an eight-month career development program with mentorship, connections and internships at venture-capital-backed tech companies. Overall, 75 information technology, computer science and data science Fellows from 27 colleges were selected, a 50% increase from the year before.

When Hack.Diversity was launched in 2016, Boston venture capitalist Jeff Bussgang said:

“In tech, we face two major problems: a talent shortage and an extreme lack of diversity… It stems from a failure of overlapping networks needed to build a pipeline.” He added that Hack Diversity presents a solution to both of these challenges, bridging the gap.

UMass Boston and Bunker Hill Community College were the initial talent partners for Hack Diversity, and helped to shape the program. They still contribute almost half of the Fellows.

Hack Diversity’s growing reputation is attracting talented, ambitious students ready for the big stage. According to 2020 Fellow Erendira Corral, a 4th-year UMass Boston student majoring in IT with a concentration on business intelligence: “I know that I can accomplish great things with the support of Hack Diversity.”

Erendira has been working in the lab of Dr. Brook Moyers in Biology as a McNair Fellow building predictive models from drone imagery data of rice grown under stress. To start her career, she’s also being mentored by Thespina Fletcher, a Sr. Manager at CloudHealth by VMware, in the Student Entrepreneur Program in the Venture Development Center.

Erendira explained the attraction of Hack.Diversity:

“I actually learned about Hack Diversity through a classmate, a Hack fellow in 2018. She told me about her experiences as a fellow, and about the opportunities she was able to get after finishing the program. She also invited me to the first Hackathon at the Google office. I had a good time at the Hackathon. I enjoyed the good dynamic between the fellows and I also enjoyed learning about their projects. I saw an organization that truly cares for the success of their fellows. That’s what attracted me to Hack Diversity. I strongly believe that working together makes us stronger.”

Here is the complete list of the 17 new Fellows from UMass Boston:

Amanuel Negash, Physics
Christopher Lopez, Computer Science
Christopher Monraz, Computer Science
Danley Nemorin, Computer Science
Darnell Browne, Information Technology
Donahue Jeffers, Computer Science
Erendira Corral, Information Technology
Evelyn Wangai, Information Technology
Eyosias Kibe, Computer Science
Fikir Yilma, Information Technology
Jarry Ngandjui, Computer Science
Junior Correia, Information Technology
Mickeyas Bekele, Information Technology
Moise Germain, Information Technology
Werner Ordonez Salguero, Computer Science
Wilson Kameni, Computer Science
Yosef Tefera, Information Technology