We’re expanding our partnership with Girl Develop It (GDI) this year by doubling the number of cities where Salesforce classes will be taught. Even better, we get to work with you, the Salesforce community, to help make it happen! Read on to learn how to get involved.

Tremendous support from the Salesforce Women in Tech User Group members made this partnership expansion possible. People of all genders volunteered as Teaching Assistants (TAs) and are now volunteering as instructors. These community members have spent their sunny Saturdays inside, guiding students through the Trailhead Build a Battle Station App project and sharing their career stories and advice.

Together, we’re creating a path toward equality by empowering everyone to learn new skills and transform their careers.

Girl Develop It and Salesforce logos

The partnership

GDI is the leading nonprofit providing affordable and judgment-free opportunities for adult women interested in learning web and software development. Through accessible in-person classes in 55 cities, GDI helps women from diverse backgrounds achieve their technology goals and build confidence in their careers and everyday lives.

The Salesforce-GDI partnership provides in-person Salesforce classes to GDI’s members, inspiring students to pursue one of the top 10 jobs to have in 2017 and to continue learning for free with Trailhead in their free Developer Edition org.

Why is GDI partnering with Salesforce? GDI Executive Director Corinne Warnshuis explains:

“After seeing the incredible success of the launch of Intro to App Building with Salesforce in 10 of our communities across the country, we couldn’t be more thrilled to see the impact expanding this partnership will have. This program has already empowered hundreds of women with opportunities to learn skills that are only going to become higher in demand in the next few years, and we’ve seen firsthand how a single class can unlock potential, build confidence, and change lives.”

Zero to Trailblazer in 6 hours

The best part? Students don’t need any prior Salesforce experience! The Intro to App Building with Salesforce class starts from zero, combining a slide presentation with Trailhead hands-on learning. At the end of the day, students have built a sample project management app and bolstered their confidence.

Battle Station sticker on laptop

People choose the class for different reasons, which fall roughly into these four categories:

1. Just curious

2. Using Salesforce at work and want to learn more

3. Looking to shift into a new technical career

4. Dragged there by a friend

For Patti Donahue, it was a combination of categories #2 and #3. A freelance Web and iOS developer who is also working full-time at Teachers College, she took the class to expand her app development skills and get a jump on learning Salesforce for work. The hands-on aspect of the class and the camaraderie of the TAs inspired her to begin her journey to become a certified Salesforce Developer. Her company recently implemented Salesforce, so between that, Trailhead modules, and connecting with others for a study group, she’s ready to blaze her trail.

For Janet Kulyk, it was category #2. As sales operations manager at Mirae Asset Global Investments LLC, she became an “accidental admin” and joined the NYC Women in Tech User Group. The May 2016 class in New York City inspired her to earn her Admin Certification. Carrie Mantione, who TA’d the class, saw Janet at the recent Lightning Now Tour in NYC. Janet offered to help TA at the next GDI Salesforce class, saying she enjoyed the class and wants to help others who are new to the platform like she was last year.

Chicago GDI Class Photo GDI Chicago Intro to App Building with Salesforce

For one of the Chicago class students, it was category #3. She spent her last $60 for the month to attend. The outcome?

“I am not exaggerating if I say that thanks to that workshop my life took a completely different way, and I am so thankful and happy I spent my last $60 on it. Besides opening my eyes to a great platform that is Salesforce and filling my heart with joy and positive energy, it gave me the opportunity to meet amazing people with inspiring and empowering stories.”

Three months after the class, she landed a role as a Salesforce business analyst. She also registered her own staffing company and is developing a sponsorship program to support young women’s education. I see a #Trailhead4All in her future!

How can you get involved?

Volunteering as an instructor or TA is a tangible, fun way to give back. And, like so many other things, without the community this initiative would be nothing. In short, we need you! All of you, not just women. 10 of our 60 volunteers were men, and GDI is welcoming and inclusive of all genders and identities.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please let us know! Send your information using this form and the GDI chapter leaders will take it from there.

If you (or a friend, family member, or coworker) are interested in attending a Salesforce class, join the GDI Chapter near you to hear about upcoming classes in these cities:

* Atlanta
* Austin
* Boston
* Chicago
* Denver
* Los Angeles
* Minneapolis
* New York City
* Philadelphia
* San Francisco
* Columbus
* Dallas
* Detroit
* Indianapolis
* Phoenix
* RDU (Raleigh/Durham)
* Tampa
* San Diego

To quote Hamilton the musical, “It’s not a moment it’s the movement.” Join us!

Want to stay informed about other Salesforce Community Equality initiatives? Follow me on Twitter @rockchick322004.

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