April 20, 2016

All Star Code Trains Underrepresented Young Men in NYC

The All Star Code initiative prepares qualified young black and Latino men for jobs in the tech industry by providing mentorship, industry exposure, and intensive training in computer science.

The Linux Foundation is working with All Star Code to provide opportunities for students to learn more about Linux and the open source community through industry exposure, training, and events. The Linux Foundation donates training scholarships, offers complimentary event passes and other resources to students in an attempt to encourage technical innovation and collaboration.

This year's All Star Code Summer Intensive program ran from July 11 to August 19. Here, All Star Code answers our questions about the program and tells us how to get involved.


Linux.com: What is the Summer Intensive program and what are its goals? 

All Star Code: Our Summer Intensive is a free six-week program for young men of color, which provides them with the skills, networks, and know-how to thrive in the tech industry. Our interactive program provides 210 hours of computer science and coding lessons and also places a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and soft skills. Industry exposure is one of our main programmatic goals. Throughout the program, students visit tech companies throughout the city and tech professionals interact with students as speakers and mentors. This summer, our program will include 80 talented high school males in New York City.

In just six weeks, the All Star Code Summer Intensive shows evidence of lasting positive impact in educational achievement, entrepreneurialism, and persistence in computer science. Our survey results show that students exhibit increased confidence, success in achieving paid work opportunities, and increased enthusiasm for school. In a post-program survey, 74% of our alumni said they decided to work harder in school as a result of the Summer Intensive.

Ultimately, the goal of the program is to close the opportunity gap between young men of color and the tech industry. In a post-program survey, nearly all students (94%) said that the Summer Intensive boosted their confidence in their ability to succeed in tech.

Linux.com: How can companies/individuals within New York City help support the summer intensive program?

All Star Code:

  • Hosting a cohort of 20 students

  • Inviting students for a site visit at their offices with an interactive employee panel

  • Hosting an Orientation or Demo Day event at their offices

  • Becoming a lead sponsor for a cohort of 20 students

  • Donating to support program costs

  • Contributing marketing swag, such as t-shirts, USBs, portable chargers, laptop bags, etc. Our students love swag!

Linux.com: How can companies/individuals outside of New York city help support the summer intensive program? (e.g. speakers, mentors, companies to host, donations, sponsors). 

All Star Code:

  • Becoming a lead sponsor for a cohort of 20 students

  • Donating to support program costs

  • Contributing marketing swag, such as t-shirts, USBs, portable chargers, laptop bags, etc. Our students love swag!

Companies can also encourage employees to join us as mentors and volunteers during the program. Opportunities include visiting the Summer Intensive classroom during our Speaker Series, where employees share their experiences along their educational and career paths and conduct a Q&A with the students.

all_star_code_workshop_at_general_assembly.jpg

AllStarCode
All Star Code Workshop at General Assembly

Linux.com: What topics would you like speakers to present?

All Star Code: At All Star Code, we are creating new futures through technology and a culture that embraces exploration, promotes change and celebrates the anti-stereotype. We would like speakers to talk about what it takes to ‘crack the codes’, specifically for Black and Latino men. Topics may include but are not limited to: failure and resiliency, diversity and inclusion efforts, and personal details about speakers’ educational and professional path.

Linux.com: Can you share a few success stories of boys who have completed the summer intensive program? 

All Star Code: Two of our alumni, Mamadou Diallo and Austin Carvey, completed the 2014 Summer Intensive and went on to co-found The Young Hackers, an organization run by high school students who aim to empower the next generation of programmers. Based in NYC, The Young Hackers have hosted six hackathons since August 2014 and have organized site visits (which they have coined ‘HackVentures’) to top tech companies. After the Summer Intensive, Austin went on to intern with CultureIQ, has plans to be 2016 Summer Intensive Teaching Fellow, and is waiting to hear back from his top college prospects, including Carnegie Mellon and Columbia University. Mamadou was recently profiled in a CNN Money article and is currently deciding where he will attend college in the fall. Stanford University and Harvard University are two of his top choices.

Linux.com: Which companies have sponsored the summer intensive program before? 

All Star Code: The Summer Intensive Program is generously sponsored by AT&T, Cognizant, Dentons Venture Technology, Dropbox, Ford Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, Google, and News Corporation. Many companies have provided in-kind support for the program, including AlleyNYC, Microsoft, AppNexus, Civic Hall, Google, Uber, and TicTail.

Linux.com:  How can companies become sponsors, and how can someone apply to be a tech speaker or mentor?

All Star Code: Contact Christina Licata, Head of Operations & Development, at licata@allstarcode.org for more information about how to get involved! All Star Code will be finalizing speakers and site visits by May 20, 2016. Sponsors are able to support All Star Code's Summer Intensive program any time throughout the year. This year's program runs from July 11 to August 19, 2016. For inclusion on All Star Code 2016 Summer Intensive t-shirts, sponsors should confirm their contributions by May 30.

 

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