A discussion around the importance of building partnerships between the corporate private, academia and nonprofit sectors to improve diversity and inclusion for people with disabilities in tech – from the pipeline to the boardroom.
Aubrey Green, Director of Employment Services, Computer Technologies Program
Aubrey Green is a passionate practitioner of diversity and inclusion currently working to create and implement newer innovative ways in supporting those underrepresented minority groups including those with disabilities find permanent fulfilling employment within the technology, administrative, and retail industries.
Aubrey has over eight years experience working with individuals of diverse backgrounds, specializing in the work of disability employment, public speaking, and business development.
As the Director of Employment Services at the Computer Technologies Program (CTP). I recently founded the CTP Career Service Group. The mission of the group is to provide a support network consisting of CTP alumni who are currently employed or recently displaced from employment. This service is designed to provide members with job retention, networking, work ascension, and career transition.
Aubrey is passionate about empowering those individuals in and out of the disability community in an effort to see individuals not only obtain employment within their vocational industry goals but ascend past these goals with the the proper supporting foundation.
Liz Howard, Lead Full Stack Instructor, Galvanize Inc
I am a developer. I develop more than just programs, I develop cultures as well. I provide technical leadership that binds teams together to get polished products out the door. I also specialize in high-impact projects, with serious results. Things that change lives, as well as industries.
I’ve shipped things that have saved millions of dollars, and I’ve changed attitudes from a culture of escapism to a culture of pride and ownership. I create groundswell, and talent gets swept up and amplified by it. It’s really fun.
Right now I’m swept up in the wave of change coming to the SF Bay Area – I’m pushing for more women from diverse backgrounds in development. Bringing varied experience to the world of technology brings the kind of amazing left-field projects and products that succeed and surprise. I love it, and I’d love some help.
John Cavano, Autism at Work Training and Support Coordinator, Expandibility
John Cavano is an occupational therapist with more than 14 years’ experience assisting people with disabilities find and sustain employment. He has a background using computer assistive technology to help people access their work, and currently co-leads the Autism at Work program at Expandability as a trainer and as a post-employment support person.
Barry Nelson, Associate Director of Recruitment & Outreach, Year Up Bay Area
Barry Nelson has over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit and education sectors, working to resolve important social issues ranging from teen pregnancy and fatherhood involvement to college access and success for first-generation students. The underlying motivation in this work has been an intent to support and empower communities and individuals most in need of opportunity. Presently, he directs community engagement and student recruitment for Year Up Bay Area. Year Up is an award-winning national nonprofit organization that provides pathways to meaningful careers and higher education for young adults through professional training and internships in the technology sector.
Barry is a native New Yorker and graduate of Georgetown University.
Leonardo Sosa, Technology Training Coordinator, Mission Economic Development Agency
Leonardo Sosa has mentored over 1,500 youth to become technology ambassadors, and he has trained over 100 instructors on best practices in a technology and leadership curricula across the country since 2003. In 1995 he launched Youth-Net, the first youth technology program serving the Mission. In 2003 he developed a San Francisco base for Digital Connectors, and later expanded the program in 12 West Coast cities. Digital Connectors, which combined technical training and service learning, became a national movement since 2010.
Mr. Sosa has shared his insights on the digital divide at seminars, technology conventions, and tech companies. He is currently the technology manager at the Digital Opportunity Center for MEDA, a multi-tiered resource that connects community members to computer training, broadband access to low income families that receive free/reduce lunch, wireless access, support for job searches, financial education, and many other services.
Mr. Sosa holds a California teaching credential, multiple Microsoft Office Certifications, a CompTIA+ Certification and an associate of science (information technology) from CCSF. Mr. Sosa’s personal and professional history gives him extensive insight into the challenges that confront Latino youths aiming to succeed as first-generation college students. He is an enthusiastic role model whose professional path illustrates the wide range of career opportunities that begin with technical training. Mr. Sosa came to San Francisco from Guatemala in 1984. He taught computer applications at Mission Language Vocational School, City College and other programs around SF, Bay Area and across the state. Since 2003 his greatest passion is directing leadership and tech training program for low- income youth in the Mission. His extensive contacts in San Francisco’s tech industries are invaluable to youths striving to bridge the digital divide and make a place for themselves in the most exciting sector of the region’s economy.
Leo Sosa launched the Mission Techies Program back in January 2014 which empowers young adults ages 17-24 from underserved, disconnected and at risk to launch a Career in the Technology Sector. Since the program started 33 young adults are working currently in tech jobs with companies like Facebook, Pandora, Jones IT, Echo Tech, Eden Tech, Geek Squad, UCSF, Twitter, Riverbed Technologies, Love Height Computers and Comcast just to name a few.