Hack Reactor Opens Telegraph Academy, White House-backed Coding School for Underrepresented Minorities

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Software engineering accelerator to provide mission-focused coding education and job search support for new TechHire school

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. May 28, 2015 – The Hack Reactor group of in-person and online programming schools focused on student career outcomes – which graduates over 1,000 Software Engineers annually – announced today the launch of partner school, Telegraph Academy, to pave the pathway to successful tech careers for underrepresented minorities. Telegraph Academy is one of the first schools under President Obama’s TechHire initiative, which aims to provide skills training to Americans across a range of growth sectors. The school is currently located in Berkeley, Calif. and will relocate to Oakland in early 2016. Telegraph Academy will use Hack Reactor’s intensive three-month curriculum to train full-stack Software Engineers. Applications are now being accepted for the first cohort, which starts June 29. 

Telegraph Academy is founded by Hack Reactor alumni and former instructors, Albrey Brown and Bianca Gandolfo. Modeled after Hack Reactor, Telegraph Academy will teach full-stack JavaScript with an ultimate focus on setting students up for long successful careers in the tech industry. Through a collaboration with LendLayer, Telegraph Academy will provide financing to all admitted students. The school is currently working to raise living expense scholarship funds so that students can focus solely on the course through the three-month, 66 hour per week program. Telegraph Academy plans to graduate at least fifteen Software Engineers every seven weeks. Seven students have already been admitted to their inaugural class and that number is expected to quickly grow.

“In 2014, African Americans and Latinos comprised 28% of the American workforce, but among tech workers, they were in single digits combined. They are the fastest-growing populations in the country, yet in the tech industry, there is a huge race disparity,” says Telegraph Academy Cofounder Albrey Brown. “The market is absolutely there for skilled, motivated Software Engineers. We’re building a bridge from employer needs to people of color looking to get into software engineering, helping to solve the skills gap and increasing diversity in tech.”

Brown was recently nominated for theREGISTRY’s 40 Under 40: Diversity Tech award, which recognizes “outstanding achievements of 40 leaders from underrepresented communities of color, under the age of 40, who are standouts in their field of technology.” Recipients will be honored at a ceremony at Stanford University in September.

“Telegraph Academy is an incredibly inclusive new pipeline to tech jobs,” says Hack Reactor Cofounder Shawn Drost. “They’ve set up guaranteed financing for all students, opened their doors to all skill levels and established strong partnerships with diversity outreach groups.”

With San Francisco and Silicon Valley firmly entrenched as the country’s biggest tech hubs, companies and startups are looking to California’s East Bay as a promising and accessible area to expand, as well as a desirable place to live. Pandora,, Sungevity, Kaiser Permanente and Goldie Blox are some of the major tech employers headquartered in the area. Telegraph Academy will also work with the Hack Reactor Hiring Network of over 200 companies to facilitate a fruitful job search for its graduates.

Telegraph Academy is a part of the White House’s TechHire initiative, which aims to bring skills training in high-growth areas to communities across the U.S. This initiative aligns with Hack Reactor’s twofold mission of data-driven education and empowering people. 

“Right now, America has more open jobs than at any point since 2001,” said President Obama, while announcing the TechHire program. “And more than half a million openings are in tech….Tech jobs pay one-and-a-half times the average private sector wage, so they’re great pathways to the middle class. And what’s more, a highly trained workforce is vital for America’s long-term global economic leadership. It attracts more entrepreneurship; it attracts investors from overseas because they’re looking for an outstanding workforce.”

In addition to its standard course, Telegraph Academy offers regular on-ramp classes, Telegraph Prep, to provide an introduction to JavaScript and prepare beginners for the full, immersive course. Telegraph Prep class fees can be used toward tuition at Telegraph Academy.

“If you can consistently show up motivated and ready to work, we will train you to be a professional Software Engineer,” says Telegraph Academy Cofounder Bianca Gandolfo. “We are tearing down the once-giant barriers of money and prior education, to bring capable people of all backgrounds into tech.”

The need for efficient, effective skills training is stronger than ever and Hack Reactor’s partnership with Telegraph Academy aims to be a solution in the San Francisco Bay Area.

About Telegraph Academy
Telegraph Academy is a mission-driven Accelerated Learning Program which seeks to provide the best available coding education and to bring underrepresented people of color into technology. Telegraph Academy is part of the Hack Reactor Network, and uses Hack Reactor’s immersive curriculum in which students learn actively for 11 hours a day, six days a week. Over three months, students learn computer science fundamentals and full-stack JavaScript development. For more information, visit

About Hack Reactor

Hack Reactor’s mission is two-fold: to empower people and to transform education through rapid-iteration teaching. Hack Reactor designs and conducts advanced immersion education programs that train students 11 hours per day, 6 days a week, over 12 weeks. Our curriculum cultivates mastery of computer science fundamentals and the JavaScript programming language. The Hack Reactor network of technology schools educates more software engineers every year than Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology, combined. Hack Reactor maintains a 99% employment rate and a median graduate salary of $110,000. Alumni work in a variety of mid- to senior-level engineering roles at industry leaders like Google, Adobe, LinkedIn, Uber and Amazon, as well as at several growing technology companies. For more information, visit:

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Hack Reactor
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