Washtenaw Co. BIPOC High Schoolers Studying Computer Science Eligible for $10k Fellowship

Software consultancy aims to bridge gap between local students’ needs and scholarships with annual fellowship

February 14, 2023

Software consultancy Atomic Object is now accepting applications for its Baker & Cook Fellowship. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) high school students in Washtenaw County who plan to pursue a post-secondary education in Computer Science are eligible for the annual $2,500 fellowship. 

The fellowship is paid to the student for each year of their further education, totalling up to $10,000 per student.

Managing Partner Jonah Bailey co-leads the Atomic Object Ann Arbor office. He says he came up with the idea when he saw a gap in support for some Computer Science students. 

“The fellowship provides a meaningful amount of money to cover what traditional scholarships won’t,” he said. “Scholarships take care of the education but not the person. The $2,500 is cash that goes to the student with no stipulations about how it’s spent; it doesn’t have to be school related.”

Atomic Object has already awarded fellowships to two first-generation BIPOC college students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Ann Arbor. Soon, the program will work with four students at a time.

In addition to the funds, the Baker & Cook Fellowship provides recipients with weekly check-in meetings with a mentor from Atomic Object. Mentors can help the fellow navigate the college experience, internship applications and career planning.

The fellowship is named in honor of Ann Arbor entrepreneurs Charlie Baker and Tom Cook who started the Ann Arbor Foundry.

“What was interesting about Baker and Cook was that they were two people from diverse ethnic backgrounds who supported one another’s causes,” said Bailey. “Though they came long before Atomic was founded, they instituted similar business practices like cash profit sharing—and their company was employee-owned from 1920-1972.”

The fellowship specifically offers resources to students who are racially under-represented in Atomic's field.

“We want to make a dent in the world around diversity in technology,” said Bailey. “We believe a highly lucrative career in tech gives a student the ability to create generational wealth.”

Applications are open on the Fellowship page through the end of April 2023, and fellows will be selected in May.