One of the newest tools to strengthen mentorship is coming from the minds of a group of teenagers in Connecticut.
Chelsea Cranford, Natalee Best, Elyece Patterson, and Angelique Phillips of Hartford created EBONI — a platform for young black professionals to receive mentorship and guidance on how to navigate predominantly white workspaces. The group of young engineers used Chatfuel, Facebook’s platform for creating chat bots.
“It’s a powerful idea for them,” Angelique Phillips’ mom, Jackie told the Hartford Courant. “Creating a pathway of outreach for minority young professionals to know exactly how to navigate the world of work, and to make it a culturally sensitive environment.”
The “powerful idea” has gained them an invitation from Facebook after advancing to the finals in a challenge that posed the question of how a social issue could be solved utilizing technology.
“We were thinking about everybody in the community,” 16-year-old Cranford said. “I’m glad I took the steps to create something like that. It did take a lot of work and it is a lot of process. But at the end, EBONI came out really good. It’s, like, beautiful.”
The group of young founders will travel to Facebook HQ in May to pitch their idea alongside other finalists.
Silicone Valley, Menlo Park Facebook Headquarters here they come! #Fab4, creators of #EBONI chatbot, these young ladies did it! They met over 35+ hours after school for the month of Oct to create an AI(Artificial Intelligence) powered bot. #HartfordHasIt @TheEllenShow pic.twitter.com/64O1HWeGjk
— Girls For Technology (@girlzfortech) December 5, 2018
All of the creators of EBONI are part of Girls for Technology, a Hartford based tech education program started by Sabrina Tucker-Barrett and her husband, Anthony Barrett. The program offers tech education to students at area schools and the local YMCA.
For more on what these young entrepreneurs are doing, read the full story at the Hartford Courant.