Code the Dream Co-Executive Director Daisy Magnus-Aryitey accepted the award for “Tech Difference Maker of the Year” at the NC TECH awards gala in Raleigh Tuesday night. Code the Dream was a finalist in the “Tech for Good” category.
The NC TECH awards are given annually by the non-profit trade association to recognize growth, innovation, and leadership.
“In five years, we’ve grown from a Triangle-based startup to a national organization connecting great tech jobs with people from communities that have been underrepresented in tech,” said CTD Co-Executive Director Dan Rearick. “A night like tonight speaks to that growth, and also to the fact that while we expand our national reach, we are also expanding our impact in North Carolina.”
A student in an early version of Code the Dream, Magnus-Aryitey co-founded the current incarnation with Rearick and Code the Dream CTO Ramiro Rodriguez. She served as Director of Programs, Board Vice-Chair, and Director of Partnerships before being named Co-Executive Director in December 2021.
A native of Ghana, Magnus-Aryitey moved to the US when she was four and came to North Carolina in 2009. She completed classes in a Code the Dream pilot program, and within a year was working as a full-time software developer at Duke University.
“This award is especially meaningful because at Code the Dream, making a difference is our north star,” Magnus-Aryitey said in her acceptance speech. “We believe that technology should be made by everyone for everyone, and we know that one open door can change a whole life.”
Being named a finalist for the Tech For Good award is fitting, given Code the Dream’s unique structure, Rearick said.
“Many of our students go on to become apprentices at CTD Labs, our in-house software development lab,” Rearick said. “They get the real-world experience that leads to great jobs, and they work on projects that emphasize social goods, like an app that helps outreach workers get healthcare information to migrant farmworkers, or a program that helps educators teach literacy to kids with learning differences.”
Magnus-Aryitey ended her award acceptance speech with a request for the gala’s attendees.
“If you have power, if you have influence, if you are in a position to open a door…do it,” she said. “Be a difference maker. There are few things in this world that will bring as much joy and there is, perhaps, no truer marker of success.”