Althea John

Submitted by admin on Mon, 01/30/2023 - 15:40
Digital Inclusion Specialist
Althea John

As a Native American and first generation college student, Althea has always wanted to learn more technology skills, to better support her family and community on the Navajo Nation Reservation where she is from. 

She moved to New England and attended Northern Essex Community College completing her undergrad. She then joined a start-up called Cozykin, which provided nanny share services for families in the Greater Boston Area. Joining CozyKin as a nanny she was quickly offered a role in the headquarters as a Care Manager. During her time with CozyKin she helped with user experience research with the community of nannies which was then used to start a nanny management product to help the communication between nannies and families. Althea was also the primary owner of a program called Backup Care, which provided on-call nannies to families whenever their assigned nanny called out, in order to fulfill the agreed upon contract of guaranteed care. With very little oversight she managed between 15-30 nannies at any given time.

To manage this workload, Althea created a scheduling system using Airtable, Slack and Zapier. The needs were constantly changing, and despite attempts to automate the processes, there were too many human variables to account for—hours needed by the family, hours nannies could be available, nanny training status and certification credentials, conflicts with nanny interviews for permanent placement, allergies for all parties, locations, transportation, family preferences, and so on. Some weeks, due to holidays or other circumstances, they had no backup nannies available, so Althea would step in until a replacement was found, while also juggling her manager role. Althea learned a lot during those two years at Cozykin, both about working in a startup environment and about how technology can improve people’s lives. 

Unfortunately, Cozykin closed in 2019, and Althea went back to full-time nanny work. In 2022 Althea left the nanny field to pursue her interest and attended Flatiron School in Colorado. There she completed an intense 15 week program learning the basics of Software Engineering Front End.

She wants to work with computers to help children and those in need on a larger scale, while also being able to support herself.  

"I want to be part of a world where we can design technology for caregivers, children and those in need. I know that software, along with my creativity and adaptability are the key to any path I want to take to make sure all those who need help are given an opportunity."