In the beginning…
Hypatia Software Organization (HSO) was founded in 2015 by a group of homeless and disabled trans developers creating the Hypatia Engine (https://engine.hypatia.software). Since not everyone in the group of developers had the skills required to work on the project, the group quickly adopted an informal peer-mentorship model. Simply put, the community pooled their efforts to teach each others the required skills necessary for developing the Hypatia Engine. At the time, the goal was simply just to build the Hypatia Engine, to create their portfolios, and enable them to obtain gainful employment in the tech industry. After a few months of hard work the group founder, who had been homeless until this point, secured employment and this grealy improved her life circumstances. , HSO was re-conceived as a resource to help others better their situations and bring hope to trans people who experience systemic disenfranchisement, poverty, and homelessness. We seek to provide opportunities for experiences of transmisogyny, the intersection of misogyny and transphobia, to flourish, in software and beyond.
HSO has come a long way since its founding. Most significantly, Hypatia obtained 501(c)(3) charity status in February 2017. Obtaining non-profit status has allowed Hypatia to reach an ever-growing number of trans individuals in need of aid, and will allow us to grow to meet future demand.
This year we have been working hard on improving the efficacy of our programs, internal organization, and reducing our operational overhead to optimize our ability to help our members
Our Mentorship Program aims to provide disenfranchised experiencers of transmisogyny with the tools to help them overcome the obstacles of their situation and the systematic discrimination that has denied them such opportunities. We believe that by equipping our members with the skills they need in order to get hired in the tech industry, our memers will flourish economically as there is a high demand for tech workers. Our mentors utilize our syllabus along with their professional knowledge and experience in order to teach in-demand skills such as full-stack web development and systems administration. Another important aspect of our mentorship program is that our mentors double as role models for our members. Our members can see themselves in their mentors and be encouraged that they themselves can achieve success.
Throughout the mentorship program, our members work on projects that demonstrate their skills to their future employers. Additionally, we help our members with their resumes and also help them prepare for interviews.
Technology Resources Program
HSO’s Laptop Program aims to provide disenfranchised participants of our Mentorship Program and other eligible members with the tools needed to utilize the knowledge and skills we provide through our Mentorship Program.
The Laptop Program is mission critical part of our endeavors to help our disenfranchised experiencers of transmisogyny secure the foundations required for them to overcome their situation and succeed, without the equipment to put their knowledge into use a lot of opportunities would be gate-kept, as not all jobs come with physical location or company devices. While portable devices have increased in computing power, these devices can not do what a full laptop can for creation. Note: relevance? The laptops costs less or similar to phones
Thanks to the Laptop Program we can help open up doors for our members, and pair them with paid internships Outreachy () and other opportunities.
Emergency Cash Relief Program
Through our Emergency Cash Relief Program we help ensure the basics needed for the survival and stability, such as food, medicine, and shelter, required to focus on studying and job hunting. This is a mission critical component that ensures the retention and efficacy of other programs such as the Mentorship Program by diminishing or removing factors such as homelessness, starvation, and depression from daily life, thus providing both our members and HSO with the optimal foundation for helping experiencers of transmisogyny succeed. Without this program many participants of the Mentorship Program would have to drop out, being unable to stay the course due to avoidable issues relating to depression, starvation, and homelessness.