In 2016, I launched Code2College — an Austin-based nonprofit focused on equipping mostly Black and brown high school students with coding and professional skills, and placing them into paid, summer internships ahead of entering STEM careers after college — with a $100 deposit in our newly-opened small business bank account. I didn’t see my first paycheck from the organization until month 7 of programming. I didn’t hire employee #2 until Year 4 of programming.

Now, five years later, our budget will be just over $5M. (NOTE: Budget, not assets, as we’re still raising for the upcoming program/fiscal year)

The last…

A few days ago I posted on my socials about Leigh Anne Tuohy and an article written about a particular instance of her White Savior ways. Towards the end of my post, I shared that I would probably write a piece about White Saviorism in philanthropy.

There was a lot of folks who then said “I look forward to reading your post.” Part of my challenge in writing about White Saviorism in philanthropy is that, much like White Supremacy, it’s systemic and embedded in every aspect of the philanthropic sector.

So what I’ll be doing is breaking down White Saviorism…

Over a year ago, I saw the launch of something called the Startup Diversity & Inclusion Pledge.

Wow, I thought. Another pledge.

Recently, I posted an article about funding majority black-owned and founded nonprofits and businesses as I started to see the surge in support of black-run organizations wane. I was also called out as having a negative view on the incremental changes being made. Insert sad face.

So, I thought, why not post something happy and optimistic!

And as warm and lovely as it is, it’s a challenge to all CEOs and Execs who signed the Diversity & Inclusion…

I co-founded and am the Executive Director of a nonprofit called Code2College. As a black Founder and nonprofit leader, raising capital is harder. Just to be clear, I’m not saying it’s hard. Raising capital is and should be a rigorous process. I’m saying that as a black male Founder and nonprofit leader, it’s harder for me. And it’s harder for ALL black nonprofit founders (SEE: NYT Article ‘In Philanthropy, Race is Still a Factor in Who Gets What’).

Despite my qualifying work experience to be highly-effective as CEO (Goldman Sachs for Financial Management; Sponsors for Educational Opportunity for Internship Program…

I recently wrote an open letter to Tech CEOs and other Senior Leaders who have been hashtagging #BlackLivesMatter, posting about injustice and virtue signalling.

This post isn’t for them.

This post is for the professionals working in technical roles and for Tech companies (also, to be clear, every company is a Tech company).

Here’s something to bring up to your CEO, CTO or any other leader who has told you that they intend to make a change.

Code2College ( has been preparing and placing black, brown, female and low-income high school students into paid, summer internships in software engineering, software…

I didn’t grow up celebrating Juneteenth.

My family hails from Jamaica and I grew up in New York. The first time I heard the word ‘Juneteenth’ was probably four years ago after I had already moved to the Austin area.

While Juneteenth is an official state holiday in Texas and is recognized by all but three states in the US, the holiday has received a significant uptick in recognition and planned observance.


I don’t actually know. Some may say that it aligns with the recognition of marked injustice suffered by blacks. …

The 2020 Diversity in STEM Report // “Tell me” vs. “I’ll tell you” partners

Over the past four years of operating Code2College, I’ve had companies fall into one of two camps: the “tell me” and “I’ll tell you” camps.

First, let me provide some context. Code2College is a nonprofit that leverages volunteers from the Tech ecosystem to deliver a variety of programming including professional skills training, STEM career exposure, coding & web development education and ongoing mentorship to minority and low-income high school students.

We partner with companies to source many of our volunteers, as well as hire our high…

Time’s up.

The slow, grinding wheels of progressive progress have reached a deafening pitch and time’s up.

This past Saturday evening, Code2College hosted its inaugural Inclusion, Diversity & Equity in Action (IDEA) Awards via Zoom. The Code2College IDEA Awards event was focused on recognizing and celebrating the volunteers and partners who make our impact possible. If you’re reading this and have never heard of Code2College, I invite you to visit our website. For the sake of this post though, I’ll give you a quick update:

For the past four years, Code2College has been partnering with volunteers and leading Tech companies…

There goes another check-in

A few weeks ago, following the release of the video featuring George Floyd’s murder, I started to read that companies were offering their black employees the day off.

Within hours, within black spaces (if you know, you know), there were memes, jokes and verbal eyerolls related to the text/email/phone check-ins that started to roll in. “Are you ok?”, “How are you holding up?” and “Do you need to talk?” were familiar refrains that friends, classmates and black people I’ve never met were hearing from their colleagues and associates.

News Flash: black folks didn’t start dealing with their blackness a few…

Matt Stephenson

Black. Educator. Father. Executive Director & Co-Founder of Code2College.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store