Out in Tech U's Mentorship Program


Out in Tech U’s Mentorship Program pairs LGBTQ+ youth aged 17-24 with tech professionals from Out in Tech’s membership. Each mentee will learn a mix of technical and professional skills needed for launching a successful career.

The Need-To-Knows

  • It's Free

    No joke! Thanks to our amazing sponsors and partners, the program is free.

  • Open + Inclusive

    We primarily work with queer, questioning, and trans youth, but allies and friends are welcome, too!

  • Develop a Project

    Each pair will work on a project to present at graduation.

  • Program Duration

    The program duration is 8 weeks, with a kickoff and graduation.

  • Weekly Commitment

    For 2 hours each week, mentees and mentors connect.

  • Professional Development

    At least 2 events during the cohort to meet other tech professionals.

Hear From Previous Mentors + Mentees

  • Being an Out in Tech mentor was an honor and learning experience I'll never forget. I was able to help others by sharing my personal experiences as a Product professional coming out, but more importantly, I got a first row seat to watch an inspiring next generation of queer tech talent show off their strength, ambition and pride. It made me hopeful and excited for a future with more LGBTQ+ leaders in it!

    Simone Barsky, Mentor Fall 2019
  • Out in Tech's Mentorship program is great for young professionals who have the drive and need a little more direction. Whether you need help building specific technical skills or networking with others who have similar interests as you, the program is flexible to your own needs. My mentor helped me make an idea come to life, and now I can add it to my lists of projects in my professional portfolio. This is what makes us stand out. Out in Tech let's you connect to professionals across the nation. It's more than a professional program -- you make friends, and community is everything to me."

    Angelica, Mentee Fall 2019
  • After participating in the Out in Tech Youth Mentorship program as a mentee, I was so eager to have a mentee of my own. Out In Tech paired me with someone who I can only describe as a perfect match. Sama and I instantly clicked. Not only do our career aspirations overlap, so do our personalities and outlooks on the world. We would talk for hours and hours, and as cheesy as it sounds, she taught me just as much as I taught her. We continue to meet on a regular basis, and I feel honored to get to watch as this incredible young person changes the world."

    Ruby, Mentee Fall 2018, Mentor Fall 2019
  • As a college student, I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in OIT U's Mentorship Program. My mentor Ruby and I created everlasting memories, I enjoyed our Friday evenings at Starbucks getting to know each other over a cup of coffee. While conversing with my mentor, I was able to expand my wealth of knowledge, hound down my professional skills, and develop my confidence in a career in tech. Having her beside me makes it feel like the sky's the limit and I can achieve anything!"

    Ummaromana, Mentee Fall 2019

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Anyone between the ages of 17-24 is welcome to apply to be a mentee. We encourage any students interested in programming, data, or design to apply (and no previous experience or coursework is necessary to apply). The program is entirely virtual. That said, we currently only accept mentees and mentors from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

When can I apply?

There are two cohorts per year - one in the Spring and one in the Fall. To access the latest application, you can click the button at the top of this page.

How many hours per week should I expect to commit?

Mentors are expected to commit approximately 3 hours per week, with 2 hours dedicated to meeting with your mentee (these can be blocked together, or as two 1-hour sessions). One hour is dedicated to developing students' career-oriented skills to prepare them for the working world (e.g., information about career paths, interviewing skills, and resume building); the second hour is dedicated to building the student's project (see below for more information).

If accepted as a mentor, what are my immediate next steps?

Paired mentors will need to complete a background check in order to work with students. We will provide more information when that process begins.

What does the matching process look like?

Mentors and mentees will identify areas of interest and go through interviews with members of Out in Tech. Based on the application and those conversations, the Out in Tech U Admissions team will make the final pairings. We do not match mentors and mentees based on their geographical location.

What type of mentors are you seeking?

For mentors, ideal candidates will be experienced STEM professionals comfortable helping students with small technical projects. However, we welcome volunteers from a broad range of tech-related fields, including sales, marketing, design, etc.

Who designs the curriculum?

Out in Tech will provide a suggested skeletal outline of topics and activities to cover during your mentoring sessions. However, mentors and mentees are encouraged to use their creativity to build on this, dedicating time on particular areas of mutual interest and expertise. Mentors and mentees will spend time each week developing both functional and career-oriented skills for a future in tech.

How do you decide on a project for the mentees?

Mentees will be asked to work on a small project that they expect to complete in eight weeks. They will then have the opportunity to present their projects as part of the program's graduation. Mentors should guide initial project selection, and can help refine or modify projects, as necessary, throughout the program.

Where do the meetups happen?

All meetups between mentors and mentees will be conducted virtually (as well as a series of digital events throughout the 8 weeks) at a time of the mentor and mentee's choosing.

Who provides the necessary technology (laptops, software, etc)?

There is no required hardware or software to participate in the program. However, Out in Tech is committed to ensuring every student and mentor has the necessary equipment to be successful in the program. To that end, reach out to us once accepted if you need any support.

What if I'm not out, am I able to apply?

Of course! Out in Tech understands and respects the decisions of all its members, and will always withhold any public marketing or sharing of information at your discretion.

Examples of Mentorship Final Projects

How Does Twitter Discuss Trans People?

In this project, we analyzed a few million tweets that contained terms relating to trans people to see what insights can be gathered from the conversation. We utilized several unsupervised learning algorithms and NLP techniques, such as LDA and Word2Vec. We were able to separate out significant topics at the moment, including as anti-trans bills being debated, or Caitlyn Jenner running for office, or hate crimes occurring. We were even able to approximate when certain events occurred or certain topics became more relevant than others, and display a heatmap of those occurring over time.


Simplifying California’s UI Claim Filing Process

The unexpected load on California’s safety net services brought its existing issues to the forefront. Many improvements will require legislative change on the state and national levels. In the interim, changes can be made to the filing process’s design to decrease stress on applicants and employees alike. This project aims to empower qualifying Californians to confidently submit their unemployment claims, thereby reducing the amount of cases which are falsely flagged for manual fraud review.


Restaurant Website Revamp

Knowing how important it is for restaurants to have a solid, easy-to-use website, I decided to help one of my favorite local Thai restaurants revamp their website. I worked on creating a more clean, professional look to the website, while also improving the check out experience.