As a nonprofit tech organization, Code the Dream relies on software development volunteers to make our program a success. We are grateful to have dedicated volunteers who lead mentor sessions, assist with pair programming, review assignments, and much more.
But some volunteers go above and beyond. We are excited to celebrate their contributions through our Volunteer of the Month series.
Our Volunteer of the Month for July 2022 is Sarah Buckingham. Not only has Sarah participated as a mentor in two CTD classes, she has also encouraged other people to volunteer with CTD. Thank you, Sarah, for the impact you’ve had on the CTD community!
Sarah shared about his experience volunteering with Code the Dream.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have a 7-year old son, a 10-year old daughter and an 11-year old tri-pawed dog that keep me on my toes! I originally went to school for social work and saw the impact that tech had in the mental health space in terms of reaching vulnerable populations, creating ways for people to connect and giving people access to the tools they need to have agency in their own lives. So, I made the jump and attended a full-stack coding bootcamp about 4 years ago. I have worked for Crisis Text Line since we launched in 2013 and have been able to use both my clinical expertise and coding knowledge to help inform and build products that make our service more efficient and effective.
Why did you get involved with CTD?
I was so thrilled to hear about CTD — I personally remember the struggle and hardships of making a career change with two small children and a full-time job. I was excited at the opportunity to be able to give back, share my experiences and what helped me through the process to help students find the tools to help set them up to succeed.
Do you have any advice for aspiring software developers?
Trust the process! Imposter syndrome is real, but know that technology is always changing and software engineers are always learning – we are in this together.
CTD students share their gratitude for Sarah
Sarah has a dedicated group of students who regularly attend her mentor sessions. Several of them shared how much Sarah has helped them in their journey to become software developers.
I truly appreciate Sarah and the amount of effort she puts into helping us. She begins each session with a poll to assess where students are and the proceeds to explain the week’s topic. She then checks in with students and addresses any issues they may have encountered while completing the assignment. She’s very mindful and knows how to break every subject down. She also always provided us with resources! I’m super grateful for her!Kimberley B., Intro to Programming Student
Sarah is so helpful and resourceful! Her mentor sessions were one of the first I attended and I immediately knew I wanted to keep attending hers. Sarah is extremely helpful and always follows up with you to make sure you understand the subject or still need help. I look forward to attending her sessions every week.Diana C., Intro to Programming Student
Sarah is one of the best mentors I have ever worked with. She always responds very quickly to messages, it is easy to arrange an online session with her, she is very patient and answers all my questions in a very detailed and accessible way. I am very grateful for her very valuable assistance!Vadim D., Intro to Programming Student
Learn more about volunteering at Code the Dream here!