At Code the Dream, we're always interested to find ways to expand opportunity to those who may have less access. So we were excited to learn recently that we received a Ribbon of Hope grant from the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to do just that -- specifically supporting expanded access to Code the Dream to young people in rural Johnston and Sampson counties. We are very grateful to the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation for their support, and look forward to developing talent in an area where many fail to look. We hope to soon be able to replicate this model more broadly and continue moving towards more equitable access to opportunity for all.
Cruz Nuñez is now officially our second Code the Dream alumni to come back as program staff. Cruz is an incredibly talented software developer and will take the lead on some of Code the Dream's app development projects for nonprofits and small businesses. Cruz is also a gifted and patient mentor, and we're very glad to have him helping newer Code the Dreamers get their start.
We recently got a nice, unexpected email from one of our recent Code the Dream grads, Jafet, who last year earned a full scholarship to college:
"Code the Dream provided me with the foundation that is helping me shape my future. The skills I learned through the classes and the multiple phases of the program have allowed me to be very successful in my college career so far. I was the only student in my scholarship cohort of 106 students to obtain a perfect 4.0 GPA for the first semester and I am on track to keep it for my second semester... It's an awesome program and I loved every second of it."
Thank you Jafet! It's wonderful to see all your hard work paying off.
Code the Dream grad Ruben Cruz recently accepted a job with Silicon Valley startup Next Request... but fortunately for him he'll only have to head to the Bay Area for occasional meetings. He's one of their first software developer hires near his home in Durham, NC, so he'll still be close by and able to stay involved and help mentor new Code the Dream students.
We're excited for Ruben and wish him all the best. He recently took a couple minutes to sit down with Outreach Coordinator Jocelyn Casanova and share a little about his experience with Code the Dream and how it helped him land his first software developer position.
After a series of information sessions and a record number of interviews held, Code the Dream’s most diverse cohort yet has been selected:
- The cohort is split nearly 50 / 50 men and women.
- Our high school applicants came to us from over a dozen schools across the region.
- Students range in age from 14 - 59.
- Students from immigrant families have roots in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Nigeria, among other places.
Code the Dream students are hopeful to be the first in their families to attend college or to start their own business. They come from diverse backgrounds, including immigrant families and families trying to get back on their feet. They are hard workers who seek to give back to their communities in a greater way. Every student has unique story that we want to hear more of. As their cohort progresses, our hope is to be able to share bits of their stories with you every couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
It's been a busy time for Code the Dream as we prepare for next set of introductory courses! We’ve had more applications than ever before – a record-breaking 170 applicants.
For our team, that's both exciting and daunting, as we realize we don't have the resources to serve that many students. We've already learned a lot about them through their applications, and now we look forward to meeting them through the interview process.
Crystal started Code the Dream a little under a year ago, and we're so glad she did. Take two minutes to hear about her experience.
We are very excited to welcome the newest member of our team -- Daisy Magnus-Aryitey, who began last week as our new Program Director.
Daisy was one of our first Code the Dream students before spending the last two years as a software developer for Duke University. She came to the U.S. from Ghana when she was 4 years-old, and experienced first-hand both the joys and struggles faced by many newcomers. We are grateful she has decided to come to back to share her experience and help open doors for future Code the Dream students.
For many Code the Dream students, the last step before they start getting paid to develop real apps is to take one of their own ideas and turn it into a fully functioning app. It's a big step requiring a lot of work, but on Saturday Crystal, Narayan, Rondale and Cristian were ready to demonstrate what they had created. Each of the the apps -- tentatively known as Bookish, Rating System, Just Married and Mini Facebook -- included features of widely used apps already on the market, but always with a twist. We look forward to seeing what these students will build in the coming months as they jump into their first real projects.
Originally published on August 30 in La Noticia .
by Paola Jaramillo
A free program offered by a nonprofit organization that has become a bridge for dozens of young immigrants to integrate into the world of Internet page programming.
"The goal of 'Code the Dream' is to give immigrants the opportunity to open spaces in technology companies where Latinos are not represented," Jocelyn Casanova, 21, of Veracruz, Mexico, told La Noticia. After taking the course and remaining linked to the program for more than two years, she is now the outreach coordinator. "What we do is web applications, that is, Internet pages."
Cynthia Ríos, daughter of Peruvian parents, is 16 years old and a student at Garner High School and has been the youngest student to take classes. "I'm here a year and a half ago. I feel very happy to have the opportunity to create because you can be what you want. "
Ríos works together with Rubén Cruz, 23, on a website for Kidznotes, a music education program for minorities. "I finished regular classes at Durham Tech to enter university because I want to study programming. Next month I start a new job and it's thanks to 'Code the Dream', "he said.
Fernando Osorto, 22, who arrived in Honduras 12 years ago, has allowed him to improve his economy and his family. "When I graduated I worked in carpentry, but now I do programming". After taking the classes, Osorto began working with Jorge Rodríguez on the Internet page: conectatecarolina.org, which helps farm workers find resources in their areas.
Those interested in participating should go to the website: www.codethedream.org/classes Calls are opened four times a year and two courses are given in Raleigh and two in Durham. After entering their information they are called for an interview. The basic course lasts from 7 to 12 weeks.
About the requirements, the essential thing is to "want to learn" to like science and math, to be between 15 and 25 years old (although they are working on opening the program for adults of that age soon) and to know English.
Classes are free and it does not matter the student's nationality, place of residence or immigration status.