PyLadies Introduces Grant Program for PyCon 2012

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PyLadies offers grant program for women in the Python community, making the conference more affordable and expanding PyCon's diverse landscape.

With an increasing focus on diversity in the Python community and at PyCon, the conference organizers recently teamed up with the PyLadies organization to provide a grant program for women attending PyCon 2012. Applications for the PyLadies grant program run through January 31, 2012, with notification of awards by February 7. This grant program runs concurrently with the PSF-funded financial aid program, which ends January 2, 2012 and aims to assist all conference attendees. Information about both PyLadies and general PyCon financial aid applications are available at https://us.pycon.org/2012/assistance.

The application includes several basic contact questions as well as finding out if an applicant is a first-timer at PyCon. Selected speakers are encouraged to sure to say so -- there’s space to list what the speaker is presentating about. Following that is a space to enter the amount of financial aid being requested, from travel to lodging and everything in between. The bulk of the form is about what makes the applicant who they are: about their contributions to open source and the community, about the impact PyCon will have on them, and a bio section on who they are. Lastly, if there’s a specific date by which award notification is needed, there’s space on the form to do so.

The grant aims to make the conference more affordable for women of all levels of experience from all over the world. From students and newcomers to experienced developers, PyLadies is about bringing women to the forefront of the open source world through mentorship, fostering an environment of activity, outreach, and education. With chapters in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the group does local meetups, attends conferences, and hosts social gatherings to introduce and expand membership to all who are interested.

Grants will be awarded based on financial need as well as the merits of the applicant. Applicants are encouraged to to list what they've been up to with Python and what their experience level is, along with details of any presentations they may be giving at the conference. A diverse membership is important to a group like PyLadies, and they wish to reach out and help as many applicants as they can.

Along with financial aid contributions, the group plans a presence during the conference days by hosting a booth in the exhibition hall to introduce their organization and help interested attendees learn more. They'll be available to connect visitors to leaders in the various existing chapters of the organization, as well as helping plan new chapters by sharing what challenges they faced to get to where they are today.

For more information about PyCon financial aid and the PyLadies grant program, see https://us.pycon.org/2012/assistance. For more information about PyLadies, visit their homepage at http://pyladies.com.

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Brian Curtin
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