Alumni Fellow Spotlight: Jeremy Canfield, Class of 2011

What led you to CfA
I came to CfA after a mobile-social gaming app startup I’d helped launch had faltered. I’d previously worked in government, and while I found the work incredibly compelling, I was by then far too hooked on the dynamism of startup life to consider going back. Code for America seemed (and was) the perfect mix of the two; civic-minded and mission driven organization that captured a lot of the speed and improvisation of start-up life, and with some of the most excellent people, to boot.

What you’ve been up to since CfA
I left CfA and headed back east, and since then I’ve got to work with some amazing people on some amazing projects that have spanned the globe. While at Reboot, I got a chance to work with the World Bank and Dimagi to help research, design, and stand-up a pilot system that allows community members in rural villages in Nigeria reporting on key government programs using the technology available (text message) as well as a dashboard and organizational processes to help the government respond appropriately. I also had the tremendous opportunity to work with the amazing mission- driven TurboVote to help investigate and understand how elections offices across America function behind the scenes by visiting them and interviewing those that make the levers that you pull work (an almost uniformly lovely bunch of people).

Currently, I’m working with another awesome mission-driven start-up, ElectNext, lending a hand on their product team toward their mission of building a more informed, engaged public.

How CfA helped you hone your decision making on what to do after and also helped give you skills/connections to do it
It’s hard to overstate the value of Code for America in my life, both personally and professionally. Yes, it was instrumental in helping me both hone my skills and develop new ones and, of course, to develop my professional network. Point of fact, CfA has helped connect me to every amazing job I’ve taken since then. I’m even one of the growing cadre that have had the chance to have worked with fellows after I hung up my track jacket* (Angel on Sahel Shake and John at ElectNext). But let me be clear here. This is not just about the connections, skills or jobs; more important than all that is that Code for America placed me in a network of life long friends; brothers and sisters in arms that believe in each other and look out for one another, come what may.

Quite frankly, while it was never easy, Code for America spoiled me for working in organizations that don’t get it. It was easily one of the best decisions of my life.

* I still wear it. with pride.

Interested in joining the ranks of civic hackers and changemakers like Jeremy? Apply now for the Code for America Fellowship:

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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