A Scholarship Named After Edie Windsor Is Helping Queer People Learn To Be Coders

"We literally have the power to change the face of tech."

As the lead plaintiff in United States v. Windsor, Edie Windsor helped dismantle DOMA and usher marriage equality across America.

Now her name is helping the community again, this time in the lucrative field of coding: Lesbians Who Tech is sponsoring the Edie Windsor Scholarship, which cover half of the tuition costs for LGBT people looking to learn how to code.

Aside from being an LGBT rights trailblazer, Windsor is also a former mathematician and computer scientist who broke barriers for women in the industry's early days. She started working at IBM in 1958 and was eventually promoted to Senior Systems Programmer, the corporation's highest technical post. (She was also the recipient of the first IBM PC delivered in New York City.)


Plaintiff of the US v. Windsor case challenging the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), 83-year-old lesbian widow Edie Windsor (C), greets same-sex marriage supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court on March 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court tackled same-sex unions for a second day Wednesday, hearing arguments for and against the 1996 US law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. After the nine justices mulled arguments on a California law outlawing gay marriage on Tuesday, they took up a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The 1996 law prevents couples who have tied the knot in nine states -- where same-sex marriage is legal -- from enjoying the same federal rights as heterosexual couples. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Last year, 40 people were awarded Edie Windsor scholarships, which was backed in part by a Kickstarter campaign.

"Imagine what apps and software would look like if they were made by women, queer women, women of color,” Lesbians Who Tech's Vanessa Newman told the Huffington Post last year. “We literally have the power to change the face of tech, if we can lift each other up, over the privileges and barriers to entry that come with learning the essential skills.”

Applications are open to anyone who identifies as queer and is looking to enroll in a coding program that starts between June and December 2017.

The last day to apply is April 30, 2017.

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