America On Tech announces the appointment of Melissa Jones, Senior Director, Engineering Enablement and Technical Programs at Shopify, to its New York City Regional Advisory Board.
About Melissa Jones:
Melissa Jones is the Senior Director for Engineering Enablement at Shopify, leading Early Tech Talent initiatives for the company in addition to other programs that support technical excellence and accelerate software teams. Prior to joining Shopify, Melissa served in leadership roles with General Assembly, Code.org, Adobe and Peer Forward. She began her career as a Teach for America Corps Member, teaching for eight years in New York City public schools. Melissa is deeply committed to increasing access to postsecondary education and careers in technology. She's also a mom to two small children and a lover of books, coffee and cats -- often all at once.
Here is our brief interview with Melissa:
Why did you get involved with AOT's NY Regional Board?
I was the first in my family to graduate from college and have followed a long and winding path to a career in the tech industry. I started my career as a Teach for America Corps Member, teaching for eight years in the South Bronx and in Bushwick. My own experience in navigating the high school to college to career journey as well as my experience supporting and mentoring my students in New York City made me incredibly passionate about creating pathways for young people to enter the technology industry, particularly those from low-income and historically marginalized backgrounds.
As I had the opportunity to meet the Executive Directors of America On Tech and learn more about the programs offered, I was impressed by the mission and focus of the organization. I hope that by serving on the NY Regional Board I can help this promising organization have impact and scale in meaningful ways to serve more youth across the New York metro area.
What legacy do you hope to leave as a member of the NY Regional Board?
By leveraging my skills and expertise in leadership and program operations, I hope to help America on Tech achieve its mission of developing the next generation of technology leaders. Through my work on the board, I hope to help AOT increase access to its programs and garner a strong base of support for its operations and strategic plans. Ultimately, I hope that my contributions will help support the long-term sustainability of AOT as an organization and the continued success of its participants.
What do you hope for the future success of AOT students?
First off, I hope that all AOT students are empowered to find jobs they love. I hope that their experiences with AOT combined with their postsecondary educational experiences and job-embedded learning opportunities enable each participant to find success fields that bring them joy and fulfillment. On a macro level, I also hope that AOT students will contribute to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive tech industry, breaking down barriers and driving meaningful change in the field. I hope that they will bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the challenges facing the industry, and that they will inspire others to do the same.
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