COVID-19 impacts to Outreachy mid-year term

Dear OSC family participating in Outreachy this mid-year,

You should have recieved an email yesterday from Outreachy Organizers about how the program is being impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you did not, please let me know and I’ll make sure you get a copy.

We wanted to add a bit of additional commentary in parallel with their message, in support of you, your community, and your mentors.

Applicant impact

Because Outreachy is designed for people in marginazlied places and roles around the world, they may be likely to be even more impacted by this pandemic, with challenges like childcare, Internet accessibility, education uncertainty, and more. Please be flexible with your applicants as you search out the most promising ones for your community and project.

As mentioned in the email from Outreachy organizers, taking some extra “risk” with your intern selections (more than you might normally) is OK. Use your best judgement and try to base your evaluation on the person’s talent, skills, and motivation, rather than the circumstances that might be surrounding them in this tumultous time.

New Intern policies

Outreachy organizers are working on some adjustments to the intern time commitment policy to allow for more flexibility. This will be announced soon. Mentors should be prepared to possibly make adjustments or flexibility for their project ideas.

Mentor impacts

For DIAL-sponsored projects, please reach out to us if mentors in your community are struggling to make time for Outreachy. We are here to listen and support you. Send a private message to @support and we’ll get in touch.

The Outreachy organizers have provided these tips for your consideration:

  • Post “office hours” in your project description and notify applicants
  • Find a co-mentor in your community
  • Reach out for a co-mentor on the Outreachy mentor mailing list
  • In cases where you think there may not be enough time from @outreachy-mentors, talk to your community’s coordinator or us (@support) about next steps.

Future

As mentioned by the Outreachy team, the future is uncertain for us all right now. The work offered by the Outreachy program can fill an important for people to make valuable contributions to society, and receive some income. We are all here to support each other through these challenges. Please get in touch if we can help.

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Thank you so much @downey this is much appreciated – stay safe and well! :heart:

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