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July 10, 2015: Friday news roundup

Check out some news from Udemy and other stories that piqued our interest this week.

Why a Mom from Nebraska Left Home to Join S.F. Coding Bootcamp
If you’ve ever wanted to learn coding but have been telling yourself you’re not the “programmer type,” you’re going to have to come up with a new excuse. Ginny Martin, a 47-year-old mother of three, had a successful career in venture capital, which exposed her to the engineering world and inspired her to step outside her comfort zone to learn more. And now we’re inspired by her example! Read on about how she became something of a hero and role model to her much-younger fellow bootcampers too.

The Next Mark Zuckerberg is Not Who You Think
Reinforcing the idea that generalizations don’t hold true once you get down to the individual level, the New York Times reports that “the average founder is 38, with a master’s degree and 16 years of work experience,” i.e., not a millennial college drop-out. The problem is that Silicon Valley’s leading investors are still hung up on the Zuckerberg stereotype and only field pitches from people they know.

US Edtech Brings in $240M in June
Investment in edtech companies was red hot last month, and Udemy led the way with our $65 million funding round from Stripes Group. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats, and we’re happy to see more interest (and money) going toward developing innovative learning solutions. Continuing that momentum, we announced a partnership with the career website Beyond to help job-seekers gain the skills they need to get hired.

U.S. Students Might Soon be Able to Use Federal Aid to Attend Coding Bootcamps
The U.S. Department of Education is exploring an expansion of its Pell Grant program that would let students apply funds to “alternative” learning models, such as coding bootcamps and online courses. As traditional institutions of higher ed become ever-more expensive, inaccessible, and impractical for today’s career-driven students, more will be going elsewhere to learn skills and get professional development. It makes sense to offer aid to all motivated learners, not just the ones who can find a way into a traditional university.

“Maria” is Leaving Sesame Street
A bittersweet note to end on: Sonia Manzano, better known for the past 44 years as her character Maria on “Sesame Street,” has decided it’s time to change her address. Lots of us grew up learning Spanish words with Maria, one of the first Latinas on TV, and while we’re sad to see her go, we wish her lots of luck. (We also feel really old now.)