Civic Innovation Apprenticeship Program

Since 2016, BetaNYC has retained graduates from our Civic Innovation Fellowship (CIF) in an Apprenticeship program. Apprentices join our staff as part-time consultants. They are past and present CUNY students who, in their fellowship year with us, demonstrated professional abilities in communicating effectively, managing tasks independently, and acquiring and applying skills from our civic analyst bootcamp. They are ideal candidates for continued civic service work because of who they are and what they have gained from working on projects with us that support Manhattan Borough President Office and Community Board operations. 

BetaNYC’s full-time staff serve as mentors to apprentices. Our team conscientiously makes every effort to enrich apprentices’ experiences and expand their portfolios with work assignments that complement their fields of study and support their professional goals. 

Performing critical work.

Apprentices are hired into two roles: Discretionary Action Consultants for community boards or Civic Innovation Lab staff. DACs work directly with community boards under the supervision of the District Manager. Civic Innovation Lab apprentices work in-house alongside BetaNYC staff,  co-host workshops, assist in trainings, mentor new Civic Innovation Fellows, and support the delivery of RADARs.

Apprentices are critical to our mission. Apprentices support community boards’ adoption of new technologies and practices, like airtable, google docs, and virtual meeting platforms like WebEx and Zoom. They help our lab refine prototypes and develop new processes. They solve small and complex problems that come to us as Research and Data Assistance Requests (RADARs). 

Examples of RADARs include a suite of research-backed tools: BoardStat, BoardTrack, Tenants Map, State Liquor Authority Map (SLAM), Boundaries Map, Community Board Database (CBDB), and What’s Open and Special Accomentation Hours for essential businesses. Check them out at <beta.nyc/products> and < beta.nyc/radar >. 

Our apprentices help achieve a citywide goal of bridging the digital and data literacy divide. 

Our Commitment.

Our lab hopes to foster the next generation of civic leaders who can combine their unique and diverse lived experiences with tools and methodologies for the digital era. We want our fellows and apprentices to gain experiences and skills that full-time staff didn’t have as young technologists, designers, and activists. Our goals are to hone their skills, foster a life-long passion for civics and public interest technology, while giving them the opportunity to express their leadership and project management skills, and develop solid portfolios that make them the most attractive employees to hire.


Ishrat Chowdhury – Civic Innovation Mentor 

Ishrat graduated in the spring of 2020 from Queens College with a BA in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. She was a Civic Innovation Fellow from 2018-19 and joined BetaNYC as a Mentor in the fall of 2019. She previously interned for a summer at Accenture and will soon be joining them full time as a software engineer. 

She is passionate about tech and government, and also enjoys volunteering and reading books.

You can email her at < ishrat(-at-)beta(-dot-)nyc >.

Onedeige James – Civic Innovation Apprentice

Onedeige graduated in July 2020 from LaGuardia Community College with an AS in Environmental Science and is currently pursuing a BS in Environmental Science, with a focus on Geographic Information Systems at Lehman College. She is also an alumni of the 6th cohort of the Civic Innovation Fellow Program with BetaNYC and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

Onedeige has a strong interest in data visualization and is also concerned about data access and interpretation against biases across the board. Originally from the coast of Guyana, she loves outdoor activities and is always up for an adventure. Onedeige also enjoys ballroom and latin dancing particularly foxtrot, salsa and swing. 

You can email her at < onedeige(-at-)beta(-dot-)nyc >.

Gabrielle Langston – Civic Innovation Apprentice

Gabrielle (better known as Gabby) graduated from New York City College of Technology in July 2020 with a BS in Applied Mathematics, and is currently pursuing a MS in Data Analysis and Visualization at the CUNY Graduate Center. She was previously a Civic Innovation Fellow with BetaNYC and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, where she was a member of the 6th cohort class. 

Gabby is passionate about data transparency and its role in creating a more fair, unified, and equal world for all. She is a native Brooklynite, and a city lady at heart. In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, watching (and reading!) Pride and Prejudice (the 2005 version), being a cat mom, and cooking arroz con pollo with maduros. 

You can email her at < gabby(-at-)beta(-dot-)nyc >.

Murat M. Akaydin – Discretionary Actions Consultant 

Murat is a Native New Yorker and an Army Intelligence War Veteran. He has completed his BBA in IT Management and his MPA in Public Policy and Administration. Murat also holds certifications in project management, IT service management, and business analysis. He worked briefly as an IT Project Management Consultant on Wall Street before transitioning to the public sector.

Murat served as a member of the 6th cohort of Civic Innovation Fellows with BetaNYC and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. He has been working with BetaNYC to support community boards in their transition to remote work as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his spare time, he works with Generation Vote to establish a NYC Hub to improve civic engagement among the youth and under-served populations. He has a deep and genuine passion for public service and strives to leave a positive impact on the lives of those around him. At the end of the day, he’s just a Brooklyn boy trying to give back to the city that has given him so much.

You can email him at < murat(-at-)beta(-dot-)nyc >.

Jennifer Maldonado – Discretionary Actions Consultant 

Jennifer completed her Environmental Studies BA at Queens College in Fall 2019 and was a member of the 5th cohort of the Civic Innovation Fellowship Program. At the end of the fellowship, BetaNYC provided the opportunity for a fellow to work with Manhattan Community Board 1 and she took that opportunity as a learning platform about community boards. 

She now holds a position as a Discretionary Actions Consultant, advising on licensing applications as well as assisting with modernizing and streamlining the approval process with respective city agencies. After a year and a half in this position, she is always learning something new about community interactions and addressing the issues that impact the district. Jennifer is very hands-on, and would love to work with animals in the future, and hopes to explore work in the environmental policy field.

You can email her at < jennifer(-at-)beta(-dot-)nyc >.

Ramesh Beharry – Discretionary Actions Consultant

Ramesh Beharry collaborates with New York City community boards on improving technology and data literacy, assistance in municipal service delivery, and connection with the communities served. He graduated from the Civic Innovation Fellowship in 2018 and has since worked with community boards on front-end design and build-out of BetaNYC’s constituent relationship management tool, a spreadsheet database with applications and script functionality, which helps ensure service request delivery and enhances our ability to efficiently communicate with civic stakeholders. Before joining the Civic Innovation Fellowship, Ramesh served in the Marine Corps. 

You can email him at < ramesh(-at-)beta(-dot-)nyc >.