The Energy in the Room

9:00 a.m., January 3, 2013 — Breakfast awaits 28 civically committed fellows. Twenty eight individuals who have decided to devote the next 11 months to Code for America — to serving our governments. Coming from 15 different states with rich and diverse backgrounds (from Google, Newsweek, HUD, AmeriCorp/Vista, AOL, and many others) these talented developers, designers, urban planners, researchers, and project managers are taking the first step in a year long journey, the outcomes of which, on this first day, are yet to be determined.

What is known, is that they will spend the year immersed in municipal governments — engaging government staff, community leaders, and residents — in effort to understand the communities and help identify ways in which technology can be used to address the pressing issues of these communities. And, in the process, help redefine what it means to be a citizen in the 21s century.

They’ll be doing this work in both Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo.; Oakland, Calif.; Las Vegas; Louisville, Ken.; South Bend, Ind.; New York; San Mateo County, Calif.; San Francisco; and Summit County, Ohio. They will be focused on areas from criminal justice, human services, economic revitalization, to parks and recreation.

9:30 a.m., January 3, 2013 — You can feel the energy in the room as the fellows convene in the conference room for the first in a string of 42 speakers and 65 sessions they’ll participate in during their intensive January Training Academy.

Part of this energy comes from realizing the enormity of the commitment each is making. Part of this energy comes from being in the company of such accomplished and passionate civically committed individuals. Part of it comes from the promise of what is to come.

On this first day, there is a confidence in the room that whatever outcomes emerge from their efforts, the process of getting there will be paved with great experiences, personal growth, new friendships, and, ultimately, great impact.

On this first day, we are filled with optimism about what is yet to come. A good and energizing place to be.

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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