Tips For Applying To All Star Code Workshops

Dear Potential All Stars,

All Star Code’s Design a Start Up in a Day (DSUD) application deadline is Friday, October 17th at 11:59 pm. If you haven’t applied already, that’s tomorrow! Before you make your way to our application page, I want to catch you up on our recent programming, and provide you with some tips on what makes a great application as well.

Since our DSUD application went live on September 22nd, All Star Code has been actively getting the word out through school site visits and our partner organizations. Traveling around NYC and meeting different students has been awesome. It’s always nice to match a face to the application. Students often come prepped with a host of questions about our application process and what they can do to make their application stand out. Below are a couple of answers to frequently asked questions concerning our Design a Start Up in a Day workshop and application process.

DSUD Workshop Questions

1. If accepted, can I attend both workshops?
Each accepted student can only attend one workshop, but you can specify on your application if you have a preferred date that you’d like to attend. Looking ahead, accepted Design a Start Up in a Day participants will ALSO be invited to our World of Coding workshop in early February, 2015. So no worries, there will be more opportunities to participate in All Star Code’s programming.

2. How many students will you be accepting?
Each workshop will hold 30 students, so 60 students in total.’

3. Who will be instructing us? Will I have help?
Kane Sarhan, Co-Founder of Enstitute, will be leading our workshop. Kane is great. And a host of tech professionals will act as mentors to help your start up come to life.

4. Will there be food at the workshop?
The answer to this question is one big resounding YES! You and I both will be looking forward to it.

DSUD Application Questions

1. If I don’t have a laptop, will that hurt my chances of getting in?
No, not at all. We only ask to get a sense of how many laptops we will have to provide for each workshop. Asking upfront helps us plan in advance. Preparation is key.

2. I don’t know how to code. Should I apply?
Absolutely! We want to help build a bridge to tech for students who may never have had the opportunity before. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Take a shot. Start with All Star Code.

3. How can I make my application stand out? What are you looking for?
We are looking for highly motivated students who are interested in technology. Since we can’t take the time to meet with every student, our application serves as a way to get to know you a little better. Write thoroughly and don’t be afraid to share your dreams with us.

Looking forward to seeing those applications. Apply Now!

David Noel Jr.
Program Coordinator
All Star Code

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ASC Fall ’14 Workshop Announcement

DESIGN A STARTUP IN A DAY RETURNS!

After two successful workshops last Fall, All Star Code’s Design a Startup in a Day returns with a November workshop at Google and a December workshop at General Assembly! Applications are now LIVE on our website. We’re excited to share another fun-filled, educational experience with a new group of high school aged young men of color, and we look forward to reuniting with some familiar faces and hosting several new friends from our ASC ecosystem. Here are three ways in which you can help us get the word out:

  • Forward this e-mail to anyone you think may be interested
  • Share the news on social media #AllStarCode
  • Request a printed flyer to post in your school, office, or community

Design a Start Up Flyer

ALL STAR CODE’S SUMMER INTENSIVE METRICS

The 2014 Summer Intensive was a great success. The data from our post-Intensive surveys only confirms the great impact ASC had on the first cohort of students.

100% of All Star Coders self-identified as “hackers” by summer’s end
95% of ASC alums say they are now strongly considering a career in Computer Science
– The number of languages All Star Coders reported being exposed to and using grew from 9 to 20 by program’s end

As Luis Dominguez, 2014 All Star Coder, shared, “I would have been much more reluctant to pursue tech if I hadn’t done All Star Code. ASC has brightened my opportunities for the future.”

All Star Code

THE YOUNG HACKERS


A key component to ASC’s programming is producing students who go on to create their own business models and projects. Two of our All Stars, Austin and Mamadou, have already launched The Young Hackers: an organization dedicated to connecting and empowering young hackers everywhere. Organizations such as Code Day, DroidCon, Teen Tech, and Stony Brook’s Unhackathon have already approached them for assistance. Congrats All Stars!

The Young Hackers

CODE.ORG STUDENT OF THE WEEK

Code.Org Student of the WeekAnother one of our All Stars has been featured as code.org’s Student of the Week! Djassi Julien is the second ASC student to be featured by code.org. Check out his full article HERE.

TECH CONFERENCES

d42ab48e-8556-416c-9e07-6dab5b061e1aLooking back: On September 11th, All Star Code’s Founder and President, Christina Lewis Halpern, participated as a panelist in The Atlantic’s Technologies in Education forum in Washington, DC. The panel discussion centered around preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. The panel included Tracy Gray, Managing Researcher at the American Institutes for Research, Kwame Simmons, Principal of Kramer Middle School, and Anne Wintroub, Director of Sustainability and Citizenship for AT&T.

d72eaa94-ab39-46b5-9d02-990e7428d4a6Looking ahead: All Star Code is proud to be a community partner at Digital Undivided’s Focus100, “the most diverse tech conference on the planet”. Come swing by our table next month and say Hello! On October 4th, ASC Founder and President Christina Lewis Halpern will also be one of four judges at the 11 am FOCUS Fellow PITCH Session. You can check out the full Focus100 schedule HERE.

PRESS

129ff1f5-4329-4f68-a0b0-71032540edcaChristina was recently interviewed by The Feast about All Star Code’s partnership with GLG. Check out the full interview HERE.

PHOTO GALLERIES

ec2e3c7a-075d-4cab-8cdf-88d2f9bf1cb5From our first workshop to our latest fundraiser, enjoy the brand new Photo Galleries on our website.

JOIN OUR MISSION

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to All Star Code, and support the next generation of tech pioneers! Visit our DONATION page for more info.

ASC Summer Intensive Commencement

SUMMER INTENSIVE RECAP
 

While the final two weeks of the Summer Intensive focused on the All Star’s final projects, we still scheduled in some fantastic guest speakers.

  • Frederick Hutson, Founder and CEO of Pigeonly, a unique platform that uses algorithms to collect and organize data on the nation’s incarcerated
  • Peter Boyce, an early stage VC of General Catalyst, a venture capital firm focused on Early Stage and XIR/Growth investments
  • Maya Draisin, Associate Marketing Publisher for Wired Magazine, who spoke to the students about exciting, new technologies like 3D printing and Oculus Rift

The All Stars also participated in an Etiquette Luncheon at the Harvard Club, hosted by Summer Benefit co-chair Loida Nicolas Lewis. At the Harvard Club, the All Stars snapped a shot with a portrait of Reginald F. Lewis, who inspired the founding of All Star Code.

All Star Code Summer Intensive

All Star Code Summer Intensive

The six-week Summer Intensive was undoubtedly a great triumph. As co-facilitator Paul Marques remarked, “I saw students come into the program with little or no coding experience, and leave with the equivalent of a full year’s worth of advanced placement high school computer science, as well as a new-found autonomy to educate themselves further and build their own projects in the future.”

SCIENCE FAIR COMMENCEMENT RECAP



All Star Code’s first Summer Intensive Science Fair & Commencement was held last week at Microsoft HQ in Times Square. The Science Fair showcased the All Star’s diverse and highly creative projects, including All Star Blackjack (a fine product of object-oriented programming), the video game mash-up Street Fighter x Tekken, and All Star Projects, a website that organizes and shares all of the All Star’s projects, this year and beyond.

As one of our All Stars, Luis, told us at the end of the Intensive, “ASC really does expand your world-view. I often stayed after the program to talk with the co-facilitators and it just fueled my passion to learn more. It gave me that much more motivation. I was seeing the world in black and white before. I needed All Star Code to provide the color that I was missing. I’m really grateful for this program.”

All Star Code Summer Intensive All Star Code Summer IntensiveAll Star Code Summer Intensive

Looking ahead, we’re already gearing up to host our new Fall workshops on November 1st and December 13th in NYC, led by co-founder of Enstitute Kane Sarhan. Also look out this Fall for a new blog on our website,AllStarCode.org, as well as a short documentary about our Summer Intensive.

All Star Code Summer Intensive

STUDENT-CREATED HACKATHON

As the Summer Intensive progressed, we were continuously blown away by the initiative of our All Stars. Two of them, Mamadou and Austin, even spearheaded and organized their own Hackathon, held at AlleyNYC the day after the Summer Intensive ended. Attended by over 90 high school students from throughout New York City, and featuring more than 15 demos, this student-led programming proved a great success. Mamadou said his favorite part was finally playing a mentor role to others. Check out some photographs of the event below, taken by Nikolas, another one of our All Stars.

Summer Hackathon Summer Hackathon Summer Hackathon

CODE.ORG’S STUDENT OF THE WEEK

We’re so pleased that Code.org has also chosen Nikolas as their Student Of The Week. Check out their blog HERE, which highlights Nikolas’ unique passions and creativity.

Nikolas

HIRING FOR FALL



All Star Code is looking to hire a Development Manager. This person would report to Founder and President Christina Lewis Halpern, and would continue to build upon and execute our development plan. Check out the job description and apply HERE, and please forward along to anyone you think  may be a good fit!

SUMMER INTENSIVE THANK YOU’S

Thank you first and foremost to the incredibly generous AlleyNYC for hosting our Summer Intensive. 

Thank you to our fantastic co-facilitators, Paul Marques and Jonathan Leung, our curriculum advisors, Avi Flombaum and Kane Sarhan, and our teaching fellows, Moustafa Ndiaye and Sam Riggs.

Thank you to Spotify, Google, LinkedIn, GLG, AOL, Microsoft, Chelsea Piers, Dev Bootcamp, and Flatiron School for hosting Summer Intensive site visits, events and field trips. 

Thank you to all the mentors, speakers, special guests, and volunteers who helped make this Summer Intensive such a resounding success.

We are All Star Code.

Microsoft hosts Science Fair and Commencement for All Star Code

Microsoft hosts Science Fair and Commencement for All Star Code (ASC), a Non-Profit Initiative Celebrating Its First Year of Programming Aimed at Closeing the Race Gap in the Tech Sector.

©Boat-Ashore-Photography-24-IMG_425511.23.2013

New York, New York (AUGUST 14, 2014) – In celebration of their inaugural six-week summer intensive, Microsoft will host All Star Code’s Commencement and Science Fair featuring the “All Stars”, ASC’s initial cohort of 20 young men of color, on Thursday, August 14th. Family, friends, and supporters will also be in attendance. The All Star Code Summer Intensive caps off a remarkable summer for the new non-profit, founded by Christina Lewis Halpern, which saw over 130 students from 4 different states apply for its first flagship program, as well as coverage from the likes of Bloomberg and The New York Times, and a sold-out Summer Benefit in East Hampton, NY, which featured appearances from Mayor David Dinkins and Atom Factory Founder Troy Carter.

African-Americans comprise less than 1% of startup founding teams, a critical sector for job growth and wealth creation. While much progress has been made in the realm of racial political and social equality, the average net worth of a black household remains $5,000, whereas white households average $110,000, according to the most recent U.S. Census. All Star Code aims to change that.

All Star Code had lucrative Fall/Winter programming that featured innovative workshops held at major tech companies such as Spotify, AOL, and General Assembly. These workshops doubled as opportunities for student recruitment.

All Star Code launched its first six-week Summer Intensive in July, 2014, hosted by AlleyNYC. Led by co-facilitators Paul Marques and Jonathan Leung, and featuring a curriculum developed by Avi Flombaum (Dean, Flatiron School) and Kane Sarhan (Co-Founder, Enstitute), the Summer Intensive included more than 200 hours of instruction in computing concepts, programming fundaments, mobile phone and web development, robotics and design. Site visits included trips to the tech offices of Spotify, Google, AOL, and LinkedIN.

Invitation To Commencement + SI Week 3/4 Highlights

AN INVITE FROM THE FOUNDER

Dear friends,

I’m pleased to announce our Commencement Science Fair, to be held at the Microsoft offices in Times Square next Thursday, August 14th. Join us as we conclude our first annual Summer Intensive Program and welcome our All Stars into the ASC ecosystem. It will be an evening of great conversation, demo presentations, light refreshments, and joyous celebration.

For those of you who have been with us since the beginning nearly two years ago, I can promise you that what you’ll see at our Commencement Science Fair will fulfill the vision I laid out to you at the start. For new friends, this is a great opportunity to see everything we’ve been up to in one evening.

Feel free to forward this e-mail to hiring partners, potential donors, and journalists as well, and help us get the word out to influencers who can help us build our movement.

Space is limited. RSVP HERE.

Best,
Christina

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LOOKING AHEAD

As the All Stars put the finishing touches on their projects for next week’s Commencement Science Fair at Microsoft, a few more exciting site visits remain, including a trip to AOL’s offices tomorrow. This site visit will include an office tour, as well as a panel discussion moderated by Suzanna Lindbergh, VP of Buzz Marketing. Panelists will include Anil Kadimesetty, Manager of the Test Engineering Team at The Huffington Post, and Lainie Rosenthal, Sr. Communications Manager for AOL Advertising.

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WEEK 3/4 HIGHLIGHTS

august07Arun Alagappan, President of Advantage Testing, encouraged the All Stars to “find their clocks”, and pursue things they love.

august08

Baratunde Thurston, Comedian, Author, and Entrepreneur, spoke to the All Stars with candor and humor about what it’s like to sometimes be the only man of color in the class.

august09

Dan Rodriguez, VP of Tech at Admit Advantage, as well as a black belt, base jumper, and techie all in one, talked about failure and the importance of pursuing different interests.

august10

Signe Harriday, a multi-disciplinary artist and teacher, and one of our Hacking Success co-facilitators, worked with the All Stars on creating and rehearsing their elevator pitches.

SITE VISITS

GLG

august11

The All Stars visited GLG’s new home at One Grand Central Place, where they toured the offices and met President and CEO Alexander Saint-Amand.

august12

The All Stars also visited LinkedIn’s offices in the Empire State Building, where they built LinkedIn profiles, practiced their elevator pitches with a diverse panel of creatives and engineers, and checked out the view of New York City from the Observation Deck on the 86th floor!

CMEE

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Two of our All Stars, Austin and Nikolas, brought their ASC Summer Benefit project to the Children’s Museum of The East End’s Family Fair. Their project, an interactive soccer match that has guests controlling robotic finches using remote-controlled gloves, was a huge hit. Thanks to Steve Long and CMEE for inviting us to participate!

august14

The 2014 ASC Summer Benefit + SI Week 1/2 Highlights

SUMMER BENEFIT

All Star Code’s inaugural Summer Benefit was a spectacular success, bringing together 140 people and raising over $200,000 and counting. These funds will go directly towards supporting our ground-breaking tech prep program, ensuring that we can invest in the highest-quality curriculum and continue to deliver the highest possible impact to our talented and deserving All Stars. Whether you’re a new friend of All Star Code’s or an early supporter, we thank you for your help and participation thus far.

Check out the benefit coverage from Bloomberg and East Hampton Star, as well as Bill Cunningham’s photographs, featured in the Sunday Styles section of The New York Times.

If you have not yet supported All Star Code, please consider making a donation now.

ALL STAR CODE Summer Benefit

Two of the Summer Benefit co-chairs, Loida Nicolas Lewis and Valentino D. Carlotti

ALL STAR CODE Summer Benefit

Benefit co-chairs Loida Nicolas Lewis, Christina Lewis Halpern, Valentino D. Carlotti, with Special Guest Troy Carter, Supporters Russell Simmons and Leslie Lewis, and six of our All Stars

ALL STAR CODE Summer Benefit

Founder & President Christina Lewis Halpern welcomes guests with the All Stars

ALL STAR CODE Summer Benefit

Mayor David Dinkins talks to two All Stars at their Internet Famous station

ALL STAR CODE Summer Benefit

Special Guest Troy Carter tops the FIFA station scoreboard

ALL STAR CODE Summer Benefit

Supporter Sherry B. Bronfman tries her hand at the All Star Maze station

ALL STAR CODE Summer Benefit

Guests snap photos with the All Stars using Makey Makey’s and a handshake

WEEK 1/2 HIGHLIGHTS

Avi Flombaum, Dean of The Flatiron School, kicked off the Summer Intensive with a great introduction to the world of coding. Afterwards, he said, “These kids are amazing and have so much potential. They are passionate and curious. I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to talk to them.”

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Hank Williams, Founder of Platform, William Crowder, Managing Director at Dreamit Ventures, and AOL CTO William Pence with Senior Marketing Manager Sara Bennett all had fantastic sessions with the students as well.

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A wide range of site visits included Dev Bootcamp, Spotify and The Flatiron School. And last Friday’s trip to Google HQ included conversations with Raj Krishnan, Product Manager, William Floyd, Head of External Affairs, and Katy Knight of Community Affairs.

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THIS WEEK

Talks with Arun Alagappan, Founder of Advantage Testing, and Dan Rodriguez, VP of Technology at Admit Advantage. More coding workshops with our co-facilitators Paul Marques and Jonathan Leung. More Hacking Success workshops with Signe Harriday. New athletic activities at Chelsea Piers. And a special visit to LinkedIn Headquarters in the Empire State Building.

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IN THE NEWS

Check out this article in Philanthropy News Digest about how to boost black male achievement.

“The barriers to success that black men face have been in plain sight for decades, so it is particularly heartening to see a movement taking shape that is specifically crafted to address these challenges and change the odds for one of the most disenfranchised populations in America.”

-Geoffrey Canada, President & CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone

ASC Summer Intensive Launch

THE 2014 ALL STAR CODE SUMMER INTENSIVE BEGINS

ASC Summer intensive

After a momentous year of workshops, events, meetups and fundraisers, our joint efforts are paying off. It is with great privilege that we launch our inaugural Summer Intensive this Monday with 20 incredibly bright and passionate young men of color. A big thanks to AlleyNYC for hosting our six-week intensive in their fantastic, midtown space.

 OUR TEAM IS GROWING

ASC Team is Growing

With the launch of our Summer Intensive, we’d like to introduce you to three new members of our incredible team!

Amanda Greenberg, Special Assistant To The President (Fun Fact About Amanda: After graduating college, Amanda participated in a fellowship program where she spent 10 months living in Cambodia, teaching English at an NGO school for former street-working children.)

Paul Marques, Summer Intensive Co-Facilitator (Fun Fact About Paul: Paul is currently helping to design the Massachusetts statewide computer science frameworks.)

Jonathan Leung, Summer Intensive Co-Facilitator (Fun Fact About Jonathan: Jonathan is a 5 time organizer of PennApps, one of the largest student run hackathons in the world.)

All Star Code is still hiring a local, part-time graphic designer to join our team. If you or someone you know may be interested, please direct them HERE.

NY IDEAS FESTIVAL

All Star Code had the great pleasure of participating in this year’s New York Ideas Festival, sponsored by The Atlantic in partnership with Aspen Institute. ASC Founder and President Christina Lewis Halpern, along with Taofeek Rabiu, Senior Technical Manager of AOL platforms and ASC mentor, and Nikolas Rassoules, one of our awesome All Stars, participated in a conversation entitled, “Technicolor: Making Silicon (V)alley Look Like America”.

New York Ideas Festival

The segment was moderated by Atlantic staff writer Megan Garber. You can watch the segment in full HERE. From all of us at All Star Code, Happy 4th of July! And have a great holiday weekend!

New York Ideas Festival

SHOUT OUTS

GOOGLE GRANT

As our corporate partnerships continue to grow, we want to give a big shout out of appreciation to Google for their support through a Google Community Grant. Google has a rigorous vetting process for grantees and supports only absolute highest-quality organizations in the computer science education space. We are honored to be among them, and to have the investment of such a major company in the tech space.

Google Grant

SUMMER BENEFIT

All Star Code will host its first summer benefit in East Hampton later this month, co-chaired by Valentino D. Carlotti, Christina Lewis Halpern, and Loida Nicolas Lewis. We’re thrilled to have Troy Carter in attendance as our special guest as well. We look forward to finally celebrating a year of hard work and great fun.

ASC Summer Benefit

YES WE CODE
Congrats to @YesWeCode on their new website. Now you can easily search for a coding organization near you!
Yes We Code

SAVE THE DATE

We hope you’ll join the All Star Code team on August 14th at our Summer Intensive Commencement and Science Fair. This will be the perfect opportunity for us to introduce you in person to our 20 All Stars and their tremendous work.
Save the Date

All Star Code is Growing!

WE’RE HIRING!

All Star Code is currently hiring for three positions:

1) Special Assistant to the President
2) Summer Intensive Success Skills Instructor
3) Research Consultant

Spread the word! Please check out the hyperlinks above, or click HERE for more information.

ASC is hiring

OVER 130 STUDENTS APPLIED TO OUR SUMMER INTENSIVE!

We are so pleased with the incredible response our Summer Intensive applications drew, and we thank you for helping us spread the word. We’ll be notifying our inaugural class soon. We can’t wait to share with you our first cohort of Summer Intensive All Stars!

GLG Social Impact

GLG SOCIAL IMPACT FELLOWSHIP

All Star Code is honored to join an impressive class of GLG Social Impact Fellowship organizations. The GLG Social Impact Fellow program brings nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs into the GLG Community to solve many of their complex operational and developmental challenges. You can read more about this incredible opportunity HERE.

ECHOING GREEN FINALIST

All Star Code has been selected by Echoing Green as a finalist for their 2014 Black Male Achievement Fellowship program! This innovative partnership between the Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green is dedicated to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S., and is the first fellowship program in the world for social entrepreneurs who are starting up new and innovative organizations in the field of black male achievement. You can read more about this wonderful program HERE.

Echoing Green

REBRANDING

Have you seen our new website lately? AllStarCode.org has undergone major renovations, and features our brand new logo, as seen at the top of this newsletter. Let us know what you think of it via Twitter. We’ll continue to share up-to-the-minute news on the site, and be sure to stay connected with us via FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, Instagram, and Tumblr as well.

All Star Code

PRESS

OZY
“There will be 1.4 million tech jobs by 2020. And the existing pipelines don’t have enough people to fill them. You have to invest in people to fill this need. It’s a national priority.” Check out Christina’s new interview with OZY.

Christina

GENERAL ASSEMBLY
All Star Code has partnered with General Assembly to bring more underrepresented groups of people into tech with The Opportunity Fund. You can read more about it on Fast Company, The Next Web, and Jake’s Blog Post.

IN THE NEWS

Coding programs and tech industry diversification continue to be a part of the national conversation. Check out this article in The Wall Street Journal about a former Goldman Sachs tech analyst launching a new coding program in Hong Kong, and this article in The San Francisco Chronicle about getting more women and minorities onto tech rosters.

Fortune Coverage, Opportunity Fund Partnership, and White House Champion of Change Celebration

THE OPPORTUNITY FUND

All Star Code has partnered with General Assembly to bring more underrepresented groups of people into tech with The Opportunity Fund. This unique program for adults, sponsored by Google, Microsoft, and Nas, includes scholarships that specifically focus on bringing underrepresented groups into tech. Once students graduate from GA’s Web Development Immersive program, their scholarship includes volunteer placement at All Star Code or another youth technology education nonprofit based in New York City. You can learn more about the program and apply for a scholarship HERE.

Opportunity Fund

SUMMER INTENSIVE APPLICATIONS DUE SUNDAY

Thanks to your help in spreading the word about our Summer Intensive application extension, we have received 96 stellar applications and counting! A final reminder that applications are due THIS SUNDAY, April 20th. We have a lot of exciting programming planned that we can’t wait to share with you. Students can apply at AllStarCode.org/Apply.

All Star Code Summer Intensive

FORTUNE INTERVIEW

Christina was recently interviewed by Fortune/CNN about All Star Code, our inaugural Summer Intensive, and continuing her father’s legacy. Check out the article, A Plan To Get More Black Boys In Tech.

WHITE HOUSE CHAMPION OF CHANGE CELEBRATION

Last month, The White House honored Christina and nine other individuals and organizations as Champions of Change, people working to support and accelerate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities for African American students, schools, and communities.

Champions of Change

Friends, family, and supporters gathered at Minton Playhouse Supper Club last week to celebrate this great honor along with the immense growth of All Star Code. Congrats Christina!

Christina at Champions of Change

SOCIAL MEDIA

Are you fully connected to All Star Code? Be a part of our mission and join the conversation.

Like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, and subscribe to us on YouTube. #AllStarCode

A Letter From Our Managing Director, Robert Bonner

Robert Bonner

From the moment I heard about All Star Code’s mission, and about Christina’s commitment to ensuring that more young men have the opportunity to achieve success and greatness in today’s economy, I knew I had found the organization doing some of the most important work today.

Long before joining All Star Code, I made my life’s vocation about supporting others, being a link in the “chain of a million hands” that helps people along their professional and personal journeys. I played many roles, from teaching 30+ 6th grade Latino and Black students in South Central LA as a pioneer Teach for America corps member, to building the nascent systems and operations at a celebrated charter High School in Newark, New Jersey, to managing the team at Computers for Youth-NYC, a non-profit that provides access to computers and educational software to public school students, parents and teachers throughout the five boroughs.

Students of color. Education. Youth Development. Opportunity. Success. Systems-Building. Technology. These have been my passions, and the materials I’ve used to forge links in supporting the lives of others. So, imagine my sense of surprise I when stumbled upon All Star Code’s work – and, more importantly, Christina’s vision.

All Star Code places talented and driven young high school boys of color on the path to becoming successful engineers and entrepreneurs. It is the most relevant prep program of our time, just as prep programs for law, medicine and engineering were for earlier generations. Indeed, technology now creates opportunities for those with vision to create unparalleled economic success and social transformation. For our young boys, I view All Star Code as the proverbial “missing link” to minority success in today’s tech sector.

Anyone who has seen our students in action during workshops knows that we are onto something. They are so inspired, so eager to learn, so intent on taking advantage of the knowledge imparted and the mentor guidance. It has been worth all of the hard work to organize these special events. And now, we look forward to the Summer Intensive. As student applications continue to pour in, we have the difficult task of choosing our inaugural class of 20 All Stars. Christina and I wish that we could provide program space for all applicants. We are the only program in existence for boys of color in the NYC area. But that time will come in subsequent years. For now, we are excited to be the link to success for those who attend the Summer Intensive.

Since joining All Star Code, I have worked with some amazing people, the true “All Stars” that are building an ecosystem of education and support for our students. Christina, Nicole, Michael, and David have all been committed, first-rate and fun to work with. The mentors from tech companies like Spotify, General Assembly, Tumblr, and AOL have been incredible allies as well.

So many others have demonstrated their commitment to serve as additional links in the chain of programmatic success that we are building for our kids. Whether you’ve helped us recruit outstanding talent, made a tax deductible donation to help support our programming, or shared a digital postcard of ours on social media, we thank you for being a part of our growing community.

As Managing Director, I have seen many of you supporting our work – whether through funding, partnerships, or mentoring. And I can say that what we’ve accomplished together has been nothing short of amazing, inspiring, and heartening. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our organization, and more importantly, for our All Stars.

Robert

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