We’re excited to introduce May’s volunteer of the month, Ekaterina Bondareva! Kat is a unique CTD participant — she is both a volunteer and a student! Kat joined Code the Dream in May 2022 as a student in our Intro to Programming class, and has since completed a React.js advanced course and the Practicum. This year, she began leading Russian-language study sessions for our large Russian-speaking community. Kat has created an inclusive and supportive environment where aspiring coders can thrive. Kat’s commitment to bridging the language gap and fostering a sense of belonging among our students demonstrates the values of our community.
We asked Kat to share more about her journey and experience with Code the Dream.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Ekaterina Bondareva, a dedicated CTD student-volunteer with a passion for Information Technology that has been burning since my middle school days. I’m originally from Russia, and I took my love for IT to the next level by obtaining a Master’s degree in Applied Computer Science, specializing in Finance and Economy. Before my exciting move to the Research Triangle Park area in the US back in 2016, I had the privilege of working as a manager in the finance field for international companies.
How did you get involved with Code the Dream?
A year ago, I made a bold decision to change my life and pursue my long-standing dream of becoming a Full Stack Software Engineer. I knew it was time to dive back into studying and find my first job in the US. That’s when I came across CTD, recommended to me by a friend. Starting with the Intro class, I progressed through the React class and Practicum, meeting incredible individuals along the way – fellow students, mentors, and volunteers who shared my journey, aspirations, and motivation. Recognizing the power of a supportive community, I started assisting others on their CTD paths, eventually becoming a student-volunteer myself. Currently, I lead Russian-speaking student sessions, and I enjoy it! Witnessing students overcome challenges and confidently present their work during final presentations makes me happy and motivate me.
How has being involved with Code the Dream been meaningful for you?
I am thankful how CTD has not only transformed my life but also my mindset. Volunteering, studying, and challenging myself every day, I relish the opportunity to share my knowledge and extend a helping hand to others. I firmly believe that each and every one of us has the power to make this world a better place to live in. Proudly standing as a part of the CTD family, I’m deeply thankful for the invaluable experiences and growth it has brought into my life.
I hope to continue to embrace volunteering, push my boundaries, and inspire positive change. Together, let’s create a brighter future and make our mark in this remarkable world we call home!
Several students from Ekaterina’s group shared their appreciation for her.
“I felt very lucky to have Ekaterina as my mentor during the class. Ekaterina not only provided a lot of valuable feedback (that helped me to improve my project) but also shared a lot of her own experience about taking the class and overcoming difficulties! Thank you, once again, Ekaterina for guiding us through this journey!”Illia S., Intro to Programming student
“Ekaterina was great at encouraging us not to give up and complete our project. She was always inspiring and helpful!”Tatyana K., Intro to Programming student
Thanks, Ekaterina, for your dedication to Code the Dream!