Charitable Choices: Darian Kovacs of Jelly Academy

Jelly Academy is a Vancouver digital marketing Bootcamp that provides participants with the skills needed to succeed within the digital marketing industry. Recently they partnered with indigenous organizations to provide course scholarships to a large group of Indigenous students in order to support growth and diversity within the digital marketing industry. We spoke with Jelly Academy founder Darian Kovacs to find out more about them.

Jelly Academy

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

Jelly Academy is a digital marketing Bootcamp that provides the fundamental skills needed within the digital marketing industry. The course provides job-ready skills needed to land (and succeed) at a job within the main sectors of digital marketing. Jelly Academy is also beneficial for in-house marketing and business teams in need of boosting their skills.

Recently, Jelly Academy partnered with organizations such as CCAB, and FNTC, to provide course scholarships to a large group of Indigenous students in order to support growth and diversity within the digital marketing industry. These scholarship partnerships were created with the hope to uplift Indigenous businesses and professionals by providing the necessary skills to thrive in the digital world. In addition to these partnerships, Jelly Academy launched the BIPOC in Digital Scholarship and Women in Digital Scholarship, to encourage more diversity and equality within the industry.

What problem does it aim to solve?

These scholarships aim to increase opportunities for Indigenous professionals within the digital marketing sector by way of education. Education is often the first barrier in place when it comes to entering the digital and tech workforces. Jelly Academy hopes to open more doors for Indigenous students within the industry, as Indigenous voices are a crucial part of digital marketing and should be uplifted and amplified.

When did you start/join it?

Jelly Academy was created in 2015 and our recent scholarship opportunities have launched this year, 2021.

What made you want to get involved?

As an Indigenous person myself, I wanted to share the opportunities I have experienced thus far with more Indigenous professionals. It was incredibly important to me and the entire team at Jelly Academy to make the digital marketing industry more equal and diverse and hope their scholarship offers will assist in this goal.

What was the situation like when you started?

Just in 2016 (a year after Jelly Academy’s launch), the number of Indigenous professionals within the tech industry was much lower compared to non-Indigenous identities (2.2% to 98.5%).

How has it changed since?

Recent reports are not yet available to determine the exact percentage of Indigenous identities within the tech industry today; however, through our recent partnerships, 40+ Indigenous graduates will be entering the digital marketing workforce at the end of 2021.

What more needs to be done?

The industry definitely has a long way to go in terms of true equality and diversity. Because of this, we plan to continue partnering with Indigenous organizations to bring more digital training to Indigenous business people and business owners.

How can our readers help?

Readers can help by encouraging diverse and inclusive hiring practices, this includes not only being non-discriminatory within hiring but more importantly, outsourcing diverse talent.

Another way to help would be by publicizing the available opportunities for minority groups to join either the industry or a particular organization. This would include sharing scholarship opportunities such as Jelly Academy’s BIPOC in Digital Scholarship and the BC Employer Training Grant, offered through Jelly Academy, that covers two-thirds of training fees for businesses.

Another key way to assist is providing feedback and education on what skills your business is looking for which allows for both individual professionals, and training programs, such as Jelly Academy, to better equip students with the needed skills.

Do you have any events coming up?

Due to the pandemic, we have no current events planned.

Where can we follow you?

You can follow Jelly Academy via our website and all the below platforms!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

Two local charitable organizations we think deserve recognition are The WISH Drop-in Centre Society and Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. Both organizations prioritize the wellbeing and safety of Indigenous women, which is so important now and always.