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At Udacity, our priority is student success. While we continue to impact the lives of our students and the society at large, it is even more rewarding to witness the unique ways in which  our students are making a difference in the world.

Such is the story of Ire Aderinokun, a Udacity Nanodegree graduate from Nigeria who has funded Udacity Nanodegree certificates for 17 other Nigerian women in the last two years. She personally started this scholarship program and is doing it only because she wants to create more success stories.

Tell us something about yourself 

My name is Ire Aderinokun. I’m a 28-year-old frontend developer based in Lagos, Nigeria. I’m the co-founder of BuyCoins, a cryptocurrency exchange for Africa. I had been a self-taught web developer. I always felt that since I didn’t have formal training, I have less knowledge than others. So I wanted to acquire some formal education that would help boost my confidence. That led me to enroll in a Udacity Nanodegree program in 2016.

What changes did it bring in your life?

It was an overwhelmingly positive experience and greatly helped boost my confidence in my abilities. The Nanodegree program assured me that I actually knew some things about web development, and it also taught me a lot of new things.

You have recently announced Udacity Nanodegree scholarships for ten Nigerian women. Tell us something about the initiative and the profile of the women chosen.

I did this for the first time last year when I announced scholarships for seven Nigerian women. Four of these seven women graduated successfully. The reason I decided to do this was because I can, and because it had such a positive impact on me. I wanted to share that experience with as many people as I could. Most of the time I am the only black, Nigeran woman in professional situations, and I wanted to try to change that. I was fortunate to be in a position where I could pay for the Nanodegree program myself, but most people can’t. So I decided to change that by doing my part. So far, I have announced 17 scholarships for women in Nigeria in the last 2 years. 

Why do you think a Udacity Nanodegree scholarship can help these women propel their career?

I believe that the reason there aren’t many black female developers, particularly in Nigeria, is because it’s difficult for them to get into the field and get the right education. So when it comes to hiring, there is a  lower number of women available. We’ve experienced this problem while hiring in my company, which is why we have an internship program for women. I believe the only way to fix this is by educating more women in the field of technology and thereby giving more employers the option to hire qualified women.

Here’s an excerpt from our conversation with Ire.

Ire, you are incredibly inspiring and we are so honored to be part of your story. We wish you the very best and hope that your goal of seeing more Nigerian women in technology continues to become more and more of a reality. With all your great work, we have no doubt that it will. 

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