This is the third session of JustChange funding, and there’s a lot that’s been going on around at JustChange and we’ll be writing about it in the near future. For now though, I’m pleased to present a bit about our most recent winner, and would like to extend an invitation to our upcoming JustDrinks event on May 31st. It’s at Vetta Osteria & Bar – 199 Bank Street Ottawa, ON during 5:00pm – 7:00pm and it’s free to come, but we ask that you get a ticket at our eventbrite page, so we have an idea on numbers.

This session’s winner is David Rust-Smith, Nick Breen, Bailey Reid, Lida Tohidi, and Nicole Bélanger, who impressed us with their Bibz Youth Employment Program intended to bring young people and technology together. Their project aims to train youth coding and computer skills which are used while running birthday parties for children. These youth are paid a fair wage, and are given training to increase their skills in terms of coding, and website design; a marketable skill. The intention is that these youth can come from communities that are under-represented in the high-tech market with the goal of making the high-tech sector more diverse and representative.

robotI had the opportunity to speak with David Rust-Smith, one of the founders of the project. He explained that there is a huge demand for computer scientists and that the market was only expected to grow; and that this future need could be addressed while at the same time increasing the number of computer scientists from more diverse backgrounds. To that end, most of the youth involved in the project are young women.

Please join the JustChange Board and I, on May 31st in celebrating the new Bibz Youth Employment Program with David Rust-Smith, Nick Breen, Bailey Reid, Lida Tohidi, and Nicole Bélanger at the Vetta Osteria & Bar at 5:00pm.

Albert Thibodeau