The CODE2040 Family: Mission-Driven Hustlers

By Iris Gardner

In nearly two years at CODE2040, I have met phenomenal people, seen the team grow in depth and size, and done things I didn’t know that I could do. I am eternally grateful for the past two years I’ve had on the CODE2040 team and it saddens me to say that I am now departing the team.

I am leaving to start a social venture that is focused on a topic that is near and dear to my heart, food education and nutrition in my hometown of Denver, CO. My first step will be a 9-month round the world trip learning new cuisine and food culture starting in April.

While I am sad to leave, I must also heed the advice that I give to our Fellows and pursue my dreams! My time at CODE2040 has made the next part of my journey possible and I’m very grateful to the CODE2040 Family.

I say, the ‘CODE2040 Family’ because it truly is a family here at CODE2040.  We have people who care for us when we are sick, people who bring us lunch just because they were thinking of us, people who will stay at the office late just so you’re not alone, but most of all, we are a group of mission-driven hustlers.  

Our fearless leader, Laura, wrote that post almost a year and a half ago laying out what she looks for when she hires a new staff member. As we have grown over the past year and a half Laura has been able to do just that - our latest news is living proof!

Here are a few of my favorite moments and milestones:

  1. Growth of the Fellows Program from 5 to 18 to 25 to up to 40 Fellows this summer
  2. Innovation at our two hackathons and Fellows placing at the Greylock Hackfest
  3. Development of three new programs: the Alumni Program, the Technical Applicant Prep (TAP) Program, and the CODE2040 Residency.
  4. Rocking out with 500+ CODE2040 and Year Up Bay Area supporters at the 2nd Annual Friendraiser.
  5. Sprouting of the CODE2040 Team from a group of four full-time employees to 12...and growing!

It has been an adventure to say the least, and I’m so grateful to the CODE2040 Family for sharing this time with me. I am also pretty excited for where my next adventure will take me.

Where will I be going? To every continent except Antarctica! I will start in Australia and Southeast Asia, then move onto the Middle East, then I’ll make a few stops in Africa, next will be Europe and finally South America and the Caribbean.

There are many people who I’ve met along my journey that have made this next chapter possible and I hope to stay in touch with all of you. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where I’ll post more details about my trip and social venture.

To the Alumni and Fellows, thank you for being an inspiration for the staff, the tech industry, and future Fellows.

To our volunteers, thank you for sticking by us and making sure our Fellows have the role models and mentors they deserve.

To our donors and companies that host Fellows, thank you for making the statement that diversity in tech is not good-will but a smart business decision.

To the staff, thank you for your mission-driven hustle and supporting my dreams.

To the families of the staff, thank you for letting us stay late at the office, rock out with our supporters, grow from one program to four, and for letting us be mission-driven hustlers.

Are you a mission-driven hustler? Join the family!