Skills for the 21st Century

Fellowship Helps Build Digital Skills and Tech Careers

Sarita Gardner is one of 30 recipients of a Capital One Fellowship this year. She's hoping the fellowship program will help her develop the skills she needs to pursue a career in user experience design.

Facilitating a Diverse Community of Talent

Sarita Gardner, a single Latina mother of two middle-school-aged daughters in San Francisco, is one of 30 individuals selected to participate in a Capital One Fellowship through General Assembly's Opportunity Fund program this year.

GA's Opportunity Fund program aims to facilitate a more diverse community of talent in the tech industry by providing fellowships to low-to-moderate income individuals seeking advanced digital skills. Recipients of the new Capital One Fellowship will have full access to GA’s immersive training resources, including its hiring partner network and personalized career path support in finding full-time employment following completion of the immersive program.

Building Digital Skills for a Career in Tech

While enrolled at a local community college and focused on learning new web development skills, Gardner took a class in basic user experience design and loved the experience. She's hoping the fellowship program will help her develop the skills she needs to pursue a career in user experience design.

“I was out of the workforce for about 8 years while I was raising my daughters and when I had to return to work so much had changed and there were so many new skills to learn,” Gardner said. “When I took a class in basic user experience design, I instantly knew this is what I should be doing. I knew it right away. I loved it, and I really have an inclination for it. I’ve always had a critical eye, good attention to detail, and the ability to anticipate problems.”

Looking to the future, Gardner hopes to leverage her new talents in user centered design along with her coding skills and develop products and apps for San Francisco's thriving tech community, and the Spanish community, and to also help more Latina and Spanish speaking girls learn coding.

Helping More Americans Succeed in a Digital Economy

“General Assembly gives people the knowledge, skills and support they need to pursue a rewarding career they love. We created the Opportunity Fund to ensure that all people, regardless of income or economic status, are able to achieve an education in tech and design,” said Jake Schwartz, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of General Assembly. “Capital One’s significant contribution ensures that even more people will gain the skills and resources needed to succeed in the 21st century workplace.”

The Capital One Fellowship initiative is all part of Capital One’s $150 million Future Edge initiative to help more Americans succeed in an ever-changing digital economy. Through the five-year initiative, Capital One will focus $150 million in community grants and initiatives to designed to help America’s workforce to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow; help small business owners and entrepreneurs grow, compete, and succeed in the digital age; and provide individuals with money management tools and resources to help them prepare and invest for the future.

As part of Future Edge, Capital One will join with the White House’s Tech Hire initiative, which is focused on helping more individuals like Gardner train for and connect to tech jobs.

"Technology is dramatically changing the way we live and work. Helping people become more digitally fluent is essential for American workers and our economy," said Richard D. Fairbank, Capital One's Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "There is an insatiable demand for great technology talent as the rate of change across industries continues to accelerate. Capital One's Future Edge initiative will help motivated individuals build the skills required to succeed in the digital world. We are excited about TechHire and the opportunity, with Future Edge, to support the President's efforts to expand the talent pipeline for 21st century jobs."