Jafet is a senior just a few days away from graduating from high school. In this episode, Jafet talks about coming from a small town in Mexico when he was seven years old, going to school and serving in ROTC, and getting the chance to learn computer programing through Code the Dream. He recently got a full scholarship, allowing him to start college in the fall.
Getting the call for a job interview is an amazing feeling but also nerve racking. An interview can make or break you by determining if you get the job or don't. Nothing is more frustrating than failing an interview because you weren't prepared for the question they asked.
Yesterday Code the Dream students and recent grads got a great chance to practice with mock interviews. The interviews were hosted by a generous team of experienced tech gurus at Credit Suisse's Research Triangle Park offices. Students had the opportunity to go through two rounds of interviews as well as get tips and feedback on their resumes.
It was a great experience, and students left feeling a little less nervous about how they would fair when it came time for the real thing.
This afternoon Jared Siirila was recognized during the 44th Annual Key Volunteer of the Year & Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards Luncheon for volunteering with Code the Dream.
Jared has served as an instructor for multiple Code the Dream classes, giving diverse low-income students the opportunity to take their first steps toward a successful career in technology. He also served as a mentor, guiding students through coding their first real apps for local nonprofits serving our community. Going above and beyond, he originally volunteered to assist 2 hours per day, 3 times a week with one 8-week class but has instead remained involved with nearly nonstop classes for the last 18 months.
This has allowed Code the Dream to grow and provide opportunities to more students than we could have without him. Although the technology sector is booming, that boom is leaving out many, especially low-income black and Latino youth. Jared is a great example of how people within the established technology sector can share their experience and help students make the leap all the way from low-wage jobs to developing their own apps and eventually building a fulfilling, innovative career.
January marked the beginning of Code the Dream's Advanced Course in Durham. As students transition from basic programing to more in depth app development technologies, it's been inspiring to watch them also develop a keener sense that this could be a real future.
As Cait recently said, "CTD has been an awesome experience. Ever since beginning the course in October, I find myself looking at web apps and wondering who built them and what languages they used. I try to deconstruct things like user logins and think how I would tackle that part of a project."
Avi, who is still in high school, said he now plans to study computer science in college, and one day "start up my own business using the skills I have learned." Cait agreed that she was looking forward to "following a new career path that allows me to utilize these new skills.... I can't wait to see what's around the next corner!"
We can't wait to see it either.
Today was the first day of class for our new Beginner Course. We're excited to have a dozen new students honing their coding skills at the The Iron Yard's campus in downtown Raleigh, and look forward to seeing what you will accomplish.
America is going through many changes and amongst those, the tech industry is one. A recent survey showed that the tech industry in the U.S. and Silicon Valley have a huge diversity gap. The lack of diversity is becoming a cultural issue as well as a missed opportunity for those who do not have the resources.
Code the Dream encourages youth immigrants, minorities, and refugees to dream the unthinkable. This program aims to make resources available to those who do not have the access to them, especially in the tech industry.
Can you imagine if more people had the chance to learn to code?
Most Code the Dream programs focus on high school students and young adults. But last weekend we were happy to be back at the 'Kids Code' event at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. The event uses fun, interactive techniques to give young children a chance to explore and experiment with technology and basic science and coding concepts.
Have you ever wondered how a computer can understand language -- how it really encodes data? Well, if you asked the hundreds of kids we saw on Saturday, they'd be able to tell you, more or less.
Code the Dream led an activity where each participant used colored beads (red and white) to make the first letter of their name using binary code. Binary code is how computers encode data by interpreting a pattern of 1's and 0's. With only a few beads falling on the floor, the museum began fill with children wearing binary bracelets, and a bit more insight and enthusiasm for the technology they use every day!
We want to say thank you to Marbles Kids Museum for the opportunity to share a bit of binary with the next generation of programmers!
Today marks a month with our incredible new students from our class in Durham, NC. This cohort is similar to our previous ones with almost half women and students from all over the world, including Gambia, Guyana, India, Italy, Mexico, and Zimbabwe. We are impressed with what our students have accomplished so far and excited to see where this class takes them!
All photographs were taken by staff member Jocelyn Casanova, who is also taking the class.
As a graduate of Code the Dream, Cruz Nuñez shared his experience with the North Carolina’s new statewide newspaper, the North State Journal. Cruz describes his experience as a recipient of DACA and the challenges he and other students have in seeking out higher education. Please read the full article here.
This article in the North State Journal comes a week after Cruz's publication in the High School Journal. We cannot wait to see what Cruz does next!
Witches, superheroes, and a tarantula - oh my! On Saturday Uniting NC staff and alums from Code the Dream shared coding with children at Tech-N-Treat in Raleigh, NC. Students went around to different booths to play games while earning stickers for their 'passports' and a few pieces of candy. Code the Dream had two games for the children to play: Cargo-Bot and RoboZZle. Each game had an element of fun but required kids to think like programmers trying to come up with efficient solutions to problems.
It was great having CTD alums Katherine and Cynthia share their love for coding with the next generation. We were proud of our women-led team at the event, particularly with so many girls there who were enthusiastic about programming and engineering. We were also happy to meet so many diverse families looking to give their children a head start toward embracing tech!
Thank you Google Fiber for hosting this wonderful event. We cannot wait to see what these bright young minds take away from this interactive experience with science and technology!