2020-09: Outreachy Progress


  • 1,952 initial applications were received for the December 2020 cohort.
  • 645 applicants were approved to participate
  • There are 83 internship projects to choose from
  • We expect to accept around 50 interns this round


May 2020 round

Two interns had feedback that needed to be discussed with their mentors.

One intern did not put in a full-time effort for the last month of their internship. I did not follow up in a timely manner, because I was impacted by evacuation prep for the Oregon wild fires and reviewing initial applications. The mentor and intern agreed to an extension. Due to the delays, that puts their end date past our normal five week extension period. However, the intern is fine with this extension.

One intern did not put in a full-time effort due to personal reasons. However, they made up the work after the internship ended. After consulting with the mentor, we decided to pay their final stipend.

December 2020 round

One continuing sponsor is attempting to transfer funding management to their Diversity and Inclusion team. I created a custom pitch deck with statistics relevant to the company. The 2019 longitudinal survey continues to be a great source of useful statistics.

We’ve had several sponsors be unable to sponsor the December cohort.

  • One general funding sponsor needed to support internal company interns, but said they would return to sponsor the May 2020 round.
  • A second sponsor who only funds interns may not be sponsoring this round. An internal champion left the company, which usually means the sponsorship won’t get renewed.
  • A third sponsor changed their fiscal year start date. That means they’ll be unable to fund the December cohort. However, they should be able to sponsor the December 2020 round.

The good news is we’ve had several new communities join. New communities are AstroPy, Mixxx DJ software, Rook, and Yocto Project. The new communities should cover some of the intern sponsorship gap. We’ll be following up with other general funding sponsors in October to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Anna shadowed me through three meetings with new community coordinators. My goal was to ensure they knew what information to provide coordinators and what common questions coordinators ask. Anna was piping up with information that I had forgotten by the third meeting. 🙂

Anna also took point on reminding communities to sign up. They did great with the task after being provided with some templates for reminding coordinators. It was a good opportunity to introduce coordinators to Anna and allow coordinators to get used to communication from them.


We’ve been receiving some spam in the organizers inbox lately. Jamey Sharp updated Spam Assassin to learn from a newly created Junk folder. Jamey also helped update the website to use Python 3.8.

I documented organizer tasks for getting coordinators and mentors to sign up in the Organizer manual.

I also created some new semi-automated reminders for coordinators and mentors. The code would email coordinators a reminder about the project deadline, tell them how many projects they current have approved, and tell them if any projects are pending coordinator approval. The goal was to get projects submitted on time.

The code I wrote before opening the initial application period has proven useful. I was able to find students in the northern hemisphere who were not graduating and bulk reject them (as northern hemisphere students are not eligible for the December cohort).

The new system for reviewing essays has been going well. Anna and I discussed some improvements that would allow us to more accurately review applications from disabled people.