Originally published March 26, 2019 in WRAL TechWire
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Code the Dream, an organization that provides computer programming classes to people from diverse and low-income backgrounds, is opening a second office.
Launched in Durham at American Underground, the nonprofit is opening a new office at The Frontier campus in Research Triangle Park.
The group says the new office is a response to “demand for its programs.”
Code the Dream often hires many of the students that take its classes to develop websites and create apps for clients.
“It’s a win-win opportunity,” explained Executive Director Dan Rearick about Code the Dream. “Students gain real-world experience that looks great on their resumes; new businesses get launched; and nonprofits get tools that help them better serve those in need.”
Rearick and Romero Rodriguez founded the group.
In 2018, WRAL.com described Code the Dream as “a program that gives people from under-represented populations an entry point into the tech industry.”
Magnus-Aryitey, who is originally from Ghana, is the director of Code the Dream, having taken courses with the group before landing a job at Duke University. Shen then returned to Code the Dream.
“Our students are usually first-generation Americans, recent immigrants, minorities, women or people from low-income backgrounds,” she told WRAL.
Her success is not unique.
“Code the Dream alumni have gone on to work as software developers for a range of startups and large employers, including IBM, AT&T and Duke University,” the nonprofit says.
Students at Code the Dream have developed numerous apps such as for homeless parents who need rides to get to interviews or medical exams.
“It’s like free Uber for the people who need it most,” said Magnus-Aryitey.
Another app helps people track issues and legislation at the N.C. General Assembly.
Code the Dream has been hired by numerous clients with development work from students supervised by software mentors.