AnnieCannons is a nonprofit that helps victims of human trafficking start computer programming careers.
The 2017 Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people are held in modern slavery. (Please note: human trafficking statistics are difficult to determine with exact precision.) When victims of human trafficking are able to escape slavery and transition into a new life, it’s critical that they acquire job skills that will create the financial independence and security they need to not become vulnerable to predators again.
Unfortunately, job training opportunities for individuals transitioning to new careers often assume a certain level of aptitude. AnnieCannons is addressing that issue by offering a job training model where students can achieve their highest potential in a field as challenging as technology.
This San Francisco-based nonprofit is on a mission to “transform survivors of human trafficking into software professionals to sustain a lifetime free of exploitation.” Laura Hackney, Cofounder and Executive Director, calls it a coding bootcamp with “student support plus.” The organization has developed a curriculum for the whole student, by helping find stable housing, medical care, childcare, and an environment that is flexible and adaptive for the unique needs of their student body.
The curriculum begins with the basics of financial literacy. Then, students develop a foundation in “digital basics.” The students go on to complete a rigorous curriculum similar to other coding bootcamps. This is possible by filling in the gaps students have in their knowledge of tech, and by providing the necessary services they need in their lives.
For each phase of the curriculum, the coding students have a skills check. Passing the skills check means that the students can then qualify for employment at that technical level. This allows for students to become increasingly financially capable and independent as they acquire more sophisticated technical skills. AnnieCannons provides the students with work projects and a professional office setting, as well as the background knowledge they need to proceed with each project successfully.
Many organizations help make the AnnieCannons curriculum what it is. Industry partners have contributed by developing classes in personal finance, internet infrastructure, and quality assurance. The curriculum is also partially developed in-house. AnnieCannons welcomes community involvement.
Axosoft is a proud supporter of AnnieCannons’ second Curriculum Hackathon—held Saturday, December 2nd. The community will have an opportunity to support the organization by contributing and expanding the curriculum in areas such as Python, Intro to Databases/Data Science, and Project Management.
AnnieCannons students are also introduced to our cross-platform Git GUI client while working on their Command Line and Git module as part of Phase II of the program. GitKraken is free for students and nonprofits to use, and it’s a great resource for those learning Git.
Breaking the Cycle
AnnieCannons graduates acquire high-level technical skills and are able to support themselves financially, breaking the cycle of human exploitation. Afterwards, the graduates go on to build software that combats the issues that make human trafficking possible—contributing to the fight to end human slavery.