As America changes, the tech industry has been slow to keep up. Over half of children born today are minorities, and 1 in 4 have an immigrant parent. Yet Silicon Valley and the U.S. tech economy remain remarkably non-diverse. That amounts to a lot of missed opportunities for all of us.
Code the Dream recognizes that young people from minority and immigrant backgrounds have great ideas and will play a huge part in our 21st century economy. Already immigrants are more than twice as likely to start their own business, and those businesses create over 25% of new jobs.
Can you imagine if more people with that drive knew how to code? Together we can make it happen.
Co-Founder, Lead Instructor
Ramiro knows about the American Dream and he knows about coding. Originally from Mexico, Ramiro moved to the United States as a child and excelled in school. He majored in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Cornell and later returned for a Masters in Computer Science. Together with an amazing team of top-notch volunteer instructors and mentors, he leads Code the Dream’s teaching and project-based learning.
Director of Programs
Daisy moved to the U.S. from Ghana at the age of 4. She lived in New Mexico, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York before settling in North Carolina in 2009. She wrote her first line of code in a Code the Dream class, and within a year was working as a full-time software developer at Duke University. Daisy is excited to be back with Code the Dream, helping students fall in love with programming and opening doors to opportunities that will change their lives and their community.
Dan coordinates Code the Dream and took his own coding baby steps alongside the first Code the Dream participants. After beginning his career in corporate litigation, Dan has worked with low-income and immigrant communities since 2008. He is the Executive Director of Uniting NC and in 2013 was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change. He co-founded the Code the Dream program together with Ramiro Rodriguez. Dan attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard Law School.
Lead Developer, Mentor
Tom Rau has worked for startups and established organizations working in a variety of roles, ranging from product lead/manager to front-end development. At Code the Dream Tom helps develop the front-end curriculum as well as serves as a lead developer and mentor to Code the Dream Labs interns.
Lori Fernald Khamala
Director of Partnerships
Lori has been involved with immigrant and farmworker organizing and advocacy in North Carolina since graduating from Guilford College 20 years ago. She is passionate about building community rooted in social justice, equity, and collaboration. After directing a program with the American Friends Service Committee for more than 10 years, Lori joins the Code the Dream team to strengthen new and existing relationships with nonprofit, education, business, and government partners.
Cruz got his start in the very first Code the Dream cohort. He’s a fast learner, a creative problem-solver and just wicked smart — all things that make him an excellent software developer. He’s also the sort of helpful guy who hears that a friend is struggling with some tedious task, and then decides to code them an app over the weekend. He’s a good guy to know. Cruz is also a gifted and patient mentor, and we’re very glad to have him helping new Code the Dreamers get their start.
Of all the folks at Code the Dream, Alex perhaps wears the most hats.
Andrea Hernandez Guzman
Andrea moved to the U.S from Mexico when she was a year old. She started taking Code the Dream classes in 2017 right after finishing up High School. She focuses on building fast, beautiful UIs for web and mobile applications. Ultimately, she enjoys building cool things that can help people.
Reid grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and Political Science from the University of Memphis. As the 2019-2020 Johnson Service Corps member for Code the Dream, Reid does a little bit of everything, but his primary roles are in communication and ensuring that Code the Dream students receive individualized support in reaching their education and career goals. Reid is passionate about education, and in his free time he can be found going out for a run, reading a book, or trying one of the many amazing local restaurants in the Triangle area.
Chris started building websites in 2009 while working in a faith-based nonprofit that advocated for immigrant rights, and he helped create Uniting NC. In 2014, he launched a full-time WordPress design and development shop. Believing in the power of community organizations his company (Tomatillo Design) continues to work almost exclusively with nonprofits. Chris has lived in Durham with his family for more than 15 years.
Jared is our longest-serving volunteer instructor and a proud Wyoming native. He has lived in the Triangle for over 10 years, working as a front-end developer for tech giants IBM and Lenovo. Currently, Jared works for EBSCO in the NoveList division, developing software for public libraries. Jared is a talented problem solver with a passion for teaching programming in often humorous ways (just ask his students). We at Code the Dream are lucky to have him on our team.
John spent 33 years as a lead systems software developer and security architect at IBM.