Tag Archives: Summer Intensive

Our 2016 Summer Intensive program is in full swing!

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Our 2016 Summer Intensive program kicked off on July 11, 2016! Of the almost 500 applicants, 80 talented and driven boys were selected to join us this Summer.  Now in our third year of operation, we’re proud to have our biggest class in what’s geared to be our best Summer so far!

All Star Code believes that young Black and Latino boys should have a fair shot to be able to be successful in all spaces, especially in technology, a sector estimating over 1.4 million jobs by 2020. We have a great lineup of host site partners, speakers, company visits, and a challenging curriculum to keep our boys engaged throughout the summer. With our innovative approach of not only delivering computer science instruction, but also giving these boys industry exposure, we are fostering entrepreneurial talent and investing in the next generation of tech leaders.

All Star Code is once again hosting a cohort of 20 boys at Alley, our inaugural host site in 2014. We are thrilled to have cohorts hosted at Goldman SachsGoogle, and MLBAM, who are all new host site partners this year. These are some of the most innovative companies in New York City who have teamed up with All Star Code to send a clear message about the necessity for diversity in tech.

We also want to thank our funders, because, without them, none of this would be possible. AT&T has grown their support this year and is the lead funder for the 2016 Summer Intensive. We are thrilled to collaborate with them throughout the summer and invite AT&T employees into the classroom to speak with our students. Additional funders include Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Dentons, Panorama, MLBAM, Google, and the Linux Foundation. Our partners and funders help to fuel our mission and keep it alive, as we continue to grow.

As our students go forward through this world, and obstacles arise in school, the workplace, and beyond, we want them to embody the mindset that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. We are building a world where every young man has the confidence to dare greatly, the safety to celebrate failure, and the freedom to tell his story.

By the end of this Summer Intensive, our boys will have the skills, networks, and mindset they need to create new futures through technology. Live the mission with us and follow our All Stars on their journey. Follow us at @allstarcode on both Instagram and Twitter to get live updates on what is going on at each host site.

-Team All Star Code

 

The Story of the Man Who Was the Most Successful African-American Entrepreneur, and Why It Matters Today

 

A version of this essay was given as a talk at the Rethink Education Summit on February 24th, 2016, at Blue Hill Stone Barns, Tarrytown, NY.

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 I am the daughter of an icon. Reginald F. Lewis, the first African-American to build a billion-dollar business. He was the first person of color to break into the elite boys’ club of Wall Street boardrooms.

In 1987 he engillion-dollar offshore leveraged buyout to purchase TLC Beatrice International, a sprawling global conglomerate of food companies and brands ranging from an ice cream company in Spain, La Menorquina, a potato chip company in Ireland, Tayto, supermarkets in France, Franprix and Leaderprice, and others. His company was the largest African American-owned business by far, according to Black Enterprise magazine-fourteen times largest by revenues than its closest competitor, Johnson Publishing Company.

It’s hard to convey how key a figure he was and is in the black community. He was the single largest donor to Jesse Jackson both early in his career and in Jesse’s historic campaign for the Presidency. He was perhaps the 1st African-American listed on the Forbes 400, a generous philanthropist, donating millions to Howard University and Harvard Law School. His life arc was and is a shining example for people of color of what had work can achieve, proof that there is hope.

We need hope. And we also need to keep fighting. Schools are more segregated today than they were thirty years ago. African-Americans are underrepresented in Congress, among professional workers, among Oscar nominees. The wealth gap between blacks and whites is frighteningly wide: $11,000 for a black household and nearly $142,000 for a white household. The gap among Latinos is nearly as wide.

Wow. Right? I mean, wow.

My father died when I was 12, in 1993. Losing a parent so young is always hard. The full extent of my loss and grief would only become clear to me as an adult. But what his death did is it sent me searching for a sense of the man that he was. He had become a towering, even godlike figure to my child mind. Who was he really as a person and what made him so special? His life is one of the greatest rags to riches stories in America. But what lies beneath? What was the back-story?

My father was born in 1942 in segregated Baltimore. His mother was 17 years old. He grew up in his grandparents’ house, on an unpaved alley in East Baltimore. Many homes had outhouses in their backyards. He attended segregated schools through college. He played in a segregated little league. He had to sit in the balcony at movie theaters (not that they went to the movies). At his Catholic elementary school, one of the nuns told him he should become a carpenter, to stop dreaming of becoming a lawyer.

These beginnings have some of the tropes of black family dysfunction, and all the force of the American Dream mythology of the self-made man, but don’t be fooled: my great-grandparents had 8 children who doted on my father as their new youngest sibling, and my great-grandfather, Sam, worked as a waiter at fancy hotels and country clubs. The neighborhood was rough. The times were unjust. But, my father had a family and a community. His mother re-married, giving my father five siblings.

Outside of family, he found other angels who saw his potential and helped him rise to help him rise. A few years ago, I began researching for a memoir I wanted to write called Lonely at the Top—a personal journey to understand the legacy I had inherited. As part of this research I met Frank Sander, an 85-year-old retired Harvard Law School professor, also a Holocaust survivor who clerked on the Supreme Court when they decided Brown v Board.   He was the driving force behind the creation of a summer program to try to diversify Harvard.  It was through this program that my father was able to gain admittance in 1965 to the law school, giving him the credentials he needed to access the private sector.

My father had always told me that his time at Harvard Law School opened the world to him. He had always wanted to be a lawyer. It was not only the first white school he had attended, it also exposed him to an elite network, educated him, and gave him a credential, a stamp that members of society in 1968 took seriously. Graduating from there is how HE could be taken seriously.

After graduating from law school he became a first year associate at a white-shoe law firm in New York and from there he began his climb into Wall Street’s inner circle. His world once all black, was now all white.

My father was at the vanguard of this nationwide struggle to integrate the American private sector. History teaches us about the fight to integrate schools and the military.  But, there’s an untold history that is still going on and that is the integration of corporate America. And my father, before he died, believed that the next phase of the civil rights movement was economic. So did Martin Luther King, Jr. It was, after all, called a March on Washington for JOBS and Freedom.

And here was the idea.

I began to wonder, is there some new frontier? Is there some new part of the economy that has not yet integrated? Is there an area where a talented young man like my father would not be able to succeed because it was still closed? The answer came immediately: Tech. Tech today is like Wall Street in the 1960s: an insider-y, clubby world built through an informal network of people we know, people who have the right credentials. Jobs aren’t advertised and the people who drive the industry don’t consider themselves exclusionary, but rather holders of a proud, respected tradition.

And so, I realized there are youth out there now who are not being tapped. There are youth out there who are so unbelievably talented but startup founders won’t hire them, venture capitalists won’t invest in them, because they don’t have the right credentials.

And, you know, I’m a doer. My father didn’t raise me to sit on the sidelines. To paraphrase the bible, those to whom much is given, much is expected. Four years ago, I was a professional journalist, working entirely in the realm of ideas–a professional observer. Yet, this problem–the lack of diversity in tech–felt so urgent to me. But I didn’t do anything about it; I just watched. And saw programs starting for girls, but none for boys. And as the months passed I thought, well, maybe I should work on this. Maybe if I don’t do it, no one else will. Or at least, not as well.

So we’ve built a program that would find and help young men like my father.

The fight had to be passed on. Hope has to be met with an effort to create the conditions to fulfill that hope. The arc of the moral universe doesn’t bend toward justice without people trying to guide its curve. My great-grandparents tried to bend it just a little bit, for my grandmother, and she in turn for my father, and he for everyone he could. Professor Sander at Harvard bent it for him and for other young black students. What we’ve built at All Star Code bends it. And we believe that the young men we’ve met are well on their way to realizing that hope, and creating more. That they are the next step in the arc.

The core tenet of our program, All Star Code, is that we aren’t just teaching computer science. We are setting students up with the skills, networks, and system know-how they need to be successful in the tech industry and overall workforce. Throughout our programming, All Star Code students improve soft skills, develop personal narratives, and learn the principles of entrepreneurship. All Star Code is a powerful intervention that opens our students’ minds to what is possible.

Speaking of students… check out Djassi’s recent speech from the ReThink Education Summit.

Christina Lewis Halpern, Founder and Executive Director of All Star Code, delivered the above speech to a group of tech entrepreneurs at the ReThink Education Summit on February 24th, 2016.

 

 

Flipping the Script

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I spent a lot of my childhood with my Grandma. I still spend a lot of time with my Grandma, but back when I was in elementary school I was with her every weekend. When I got to her house, I was always greeted with a hot meal and a seat in her lap. We talked about everything. She asked me about how school was going, what Spongebob’s latest antic was, if I was respecting my parents, everything. No matter what we ended up talking about, at some point she would say, “Dja, one day you’re gonna shine so so so bright. I can’t wait.” She was always in my corner, always fighting for me, always loving me. I’m so grateful I had the support of my family growing up, because as I got older I realized that not everyone saw the same potential in me that my grandma saw.

I went to PS 180, a small school in Harlem, for elementary and middle school. I loved it there, it was like another family. All my friends at school were from the neighborhood too so we got to hang out all the time. My school fought for us so hard, but it was difficult for our little Harlem school to get funding, so resources were limited. When it came time to apply to high schools, our assistant principal, Ms. Marren, told us about the specialized high school test, the entrance exam for the top 7 schools in the city. Ms. Marren worked so hard with us for the next few months to prepare us for the test. My parents both work in education, so they signed me up for a prep class for the specialized high school test as well. It was a tutorial program for young black students. My instructor told us that students studied for years in preparation for this test, so we had to work extra hard to make sure that we had a chance. I studied really, really hard. It upset me that some students had the advantage of years of practice. I was upset that no one thought to look at me and my friends to see if we had potential. I knew that we could blow people away, we just never had the chance to. I used that anger to push me, to motivate me to score above everyone on the test. I ended up doing pretty well on the SHSAT, at least well enough to get into my school, the High School for Math Science and Engineering.

In middle school I was surrounded by people who looked like me, talked like me, and did things the way I did things. High school was a huge culture shock. To be honest, the biggest change was all the white people. That was new, but I also noticed that I got treated a lot differently. In middle school I got asked stuff like, “Did you watch the game last night?” or “What’s gonna be on the Math test later?” In high school I got asked stuff like, “Can I touch your hair?” and “Do you live in the Bronx or Brooklyn?” No one took me seriously. There are 14 black kids in my whole grade, and I was basically the funny one that’s always dancing. All my white friends recounted their experiences interning at publishing companies and courthouses, and I was a little bitter that I had never been afforded those opportunities. It took me my first two years of high school to realize that I didn’t have access to these opportunities because I was black. I felt disrespected, excluded, but above all else I felt ready to flip the script.

At the end of my sophomore year I started looking for summer programs beyond the usual park cleanup job. A couple of days later my mom told me about this new program called All Star Code that taught young black boys how to code.  She said that All Star Code was holding a workshop that weekend and that I should go. I realllyyyy did not wanna spend my Saturday hacking away on my laptop in some dark room, and I fought against my mom’s wishes, but she was not having it. Guess who won. I woke up early that Saturday and took the train down to General Assembly for All Star Code’s second “Design a Startup in a Day” workshop. Honestly one of the best Saturdays of my life. When All Star Code launched their application, I filled it out as fast as I could.

When we started new topics in All Star Code, we didn’t get long boring lectures. We got cheat-sheets for the syntax of a new skill and we just jumped in. We learned by doing, which I think was a lot more effective than watching our instructors, Jonathan and Paul type a bunch of loops into their laptops. It was so weird because learning at ASC was so much fun and way different than school. Jonathan and Paul looked at us and saw beyond what society expected us to become. They didn’t see future garbagemen and criminals. They saw CEOs and innovators. They believed that each and every one of us had the potential to change the world, and they worked hard so that we have the tools that we needed to do so.

I want you guys to close your eyes and picture something for me. Imagine what the workforce would need to look like for All Star Code to not have to exist anymore. Keep your eyes closed. If all of you worked in tech, I think that about 25% of this room should be black. That means that 1 in every 4 people that you look at should be black for All Star Code to not be necessary. Open your eyes. That’s why ASC needs to exist and that’s why we need more ASC’s.

I left All Star Code more confident and optimistic than I had ever been my whole life. I kept coding outside of class and I started attending hackathons at colleges across the country. At first I was really intimidated by all these elite college students, but hackathons are super inclusive and collaborative, so I fit right in. We call this the hacker ethos. I honed my skills all year and by the time summer came again I was pretty proud of how far I came. I was starting to see my own potential.

When ASC announced that they were looking for ASC alum to be teaching fellows for the next cohort, I signed up right away. All Star Code did so much for me, and I wanted to give back and help out in any way I could.

This fall I filled out another application, this time for Stanford University. Stanford is right in the heart of Silicon Valley, and it’s a place where I can get a solid tech education without sacrificing my other interests. Two years ago, I never would’ve even considered applying to Stanford, because I wouldn’t have believed in myself enough to think that I could get it. Now, I won’t jinx it, but I think my chances are pretty good. All Star Code gave me the confidence to look inside myself and realize that I’m capable of doing whatever I put my mind to. No other learning environment has taught me as much as ASC did, which is why we need more programs like it. If I had classes at school that were taught ASC style, we’d be pumping out Bill Gates-es nonstop! We have to rethink the way we educate kids in America, because when kids like me discover their potential, that’s when we realize that we can change the world.

My First Month With All Star Code!

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Swag Table
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Since early February, I have been happily interning twice a week as All Star Code’s Marketing and Development Intern and I love it! It is just what I wanted. So far, I have contributed to the monthly newsletter, blog posts, creating images that are being posted on ASC’s social media channels, donation acknowledgements and so much more.

A little over a week ago, I worked my first ASC event. I was in charge of the swag table. We gave away t-shirts, Google cardboards, several Chromebooks and a MacBook Air. It was an info session for future Summer Intensive participants. During the event their were exciting demos by Microsoft and Google. I had the opportunity to meet brilliant alumni, which sparked my imagination. The alumni are driven, creative and extremely mature. In addition, I was impressed when I met future ASC SI participants. They were so bright and had a passion for coding and technology that I’ve never seen before. I can’t imagine five years ago having such passion for Marketing.

After the event that night, I was inspired by them, the young men. I am so happy to be interning for such a brilliant non-profit, which has such a strong and powerful message.

The team has been very friendly and has welcomed me with open arms. I am looking forward to helping the ASC team organize a successful Summer Intensive as well as the Summer Benefit in 2016.

Farewell from Managing Director Robert Bonner

Dear All Star Code Friends, Family and Alumni,

Happy September!

As the new school year begins, many new experiences await our alumni. Some are finally off to college! We wish these students much success, and deserved confidence, as they make this major life transition. The new crop of 2015 Summer Intensive alumni are returning to their high schools genuinely transformed from a one-of-a-kind summer experience. Judging from updates on their Facebook group, they are looking forward to building their tech skills through ASC’s Accelerator Program. I wish each of these young men continued success as they embark on this new leg of their exciting journey!

I also want to give you, members of our tech-education ecosystem, an update on something that’s been developing for me at All Star Code. Now that our 2nd Summer Intensive has ended so successfully, All Star Code is in a better position than ever to grow in New York City – and to scale beyond.

Having helped build the foundations of All Star Code, I am transitioning out of my role as Managing Director. I share this news with an obvious mix of sadness and excitement. There is never an opportune time to leave a train moving as fast as All Star Code. But change becomes more difficult once the organization begins accelerating again in the new school year.

I have helped establish the organization’s very foundations and presence in the tech education space. Indeed, these years of hard work have been nothing short of phenomenal! All Star Code now has many key elements in place — a solid core team, a unique program and curriculum, a financial structure, a budget, 501(c)(3) status, a strategic plan, nearly 60 alumni and a one-of-a-kind reputation. Students, parents, and schools love All Star Code. And rightly so! Moreover, ASC also enjoys an ecosystem of professional mentors, tech partnerships and sponsorships that are truly enviable. I came on board to help set up all of this. I succeeded, and am proud of these accomplishments.

Now that these things are in place, I am moving on to other opportunities and challenges. Christina and the (growing) team will nimbly handle the impending expansion phase! Much love to this growing work on behalf of our boys of color. Their lives truly matter.

I will be moving on to consulting opportunities within the non-profit and tech education spaces. I want to find ways to leverage all that I have achieved and learned up to this point to continue my service to our young people of color. I will also revive my work as an executive and leadership coach. This is my primary passion: helping others to find their professional pathways and to excel. As you can see, All Star Code’s mission has been an obvious example of this work.

Please let’s keep in touch. I’d love to keep each of you as a valued member of my professional network, with obvious overlaps to All Star Code’s. But I would most want to keep you as allies and friends.

And to the students: I am always here as a supportive mentor. If you’ve learned nothing over the past two years, know this. So don’t hesitate to reach out at bonnersuter@gmail.com!

Best wishes for everyone’s continued success!

Sincerely,
Robert

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All Star Code Surges Into Second Summer: Raising more than $600K at Sold Out Benefit

On Saturday, July 25th tech education non-profit, All Star Code, hosted its Second Annual Summer Benefit to raise funds and awareness of the organization’s mission. All Star Code raised more than $600,000 at the sold out benefit. Founder and Executive Director Christina Lewis Halpern also made a major announcement: an innovative collaboration with AT&T!

With the shared goal of empowering students everywhere to reach their highest potential, AT&T has awarded All Star Code $100,000 in support through AT&T Aspire. This exciting new collaboration will additionally provide seven All Star Code students, who will be named AT&T scholars, with scholarships, free laptops and supplies for embodying creativity, intellect and curiosity.

This year’s benefit was held at a private oceanfront residence in East Hampton, New York. The evening had many exciting elements to go along with the release of the AT&T collaboration. The night began with a cocktail reception and interactive, student-designed game stations. The stations were comprised of games created and run by ASC students and alums and were enjoyed by a number of high profile attendees including Miss USA Olivia Jordan and Real Housewife of New York, Kristen Taekman.

Dinner followed provided by Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem and awards ceremony with Master of Ceremonies, Maurice DuBois, award winning anchor of ‘CBS 2 This Morning.’ This year All Star Code had assembled a group of distinguished honorees including Frank A. Baker, Goldman Sachs Gives, and Marcus Mitchell. Co-Chair Loida Nicolas Lewis presented Frank A. Baker, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Siris Capital Group with the Visionary Award. Co-Chair Troy Carter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, presented Goldman Sachs Gives with the Corporate Leadership Award. Co-Chair Valentino D. Carlotti accepted the award on behalf of Goldman Sachs Gives. And current All Star Code student Cameron King presented Marcus Mitchell with the Community Award. Mitchell is a Senior Engineering Director at Google.

The evening closed with an exciting live auction presided over by auctioneer Alex Berggruen of Christie’s, complete with bidding wars and a high bid of $34,000, followed by a dance party with MICK.

“What we’re doing at All Star Code is giving young men of color the tools to ride the wave,” said Founder and Executive Director Christina Lewis Halpern. “It’s my belief that the indignities and injustices and inequalities that people of color in this country still endure can only be corrected once people of color have a fairer shot at a seat at the table. Until they have a fairer shot at chairing the table. A fairer shot at running the table.”

Countless notable celebrities and personalities took part in the evening including: Miss USA Olivia Jordan, Co-Anchor of CBS’ This Morning and Editor-At-Large of O Magazine Gayle King, Model Chris Collins, Real Housewives of New York star Kristen Taekman & her husband, Sherry Bronfman, David Buckner Orr, ASC Board Vice Chair Britt Morgan-Saks, Former Mayor of New York City and ASC Board Member David Dinkins, Alma Rangel, and Philippine Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. and his wife Eleanor.

You can still bid on exciting auction items included in All Star Code’s CharityBuzz online auction or donate today.

All Star Code’s 2nd Annual Demo Day will be hosted by Google’s offices in New York on Thursday, August 13th. If you’re interested in attending, please e-mail Director of External Affairs Christina Licata at Licata@allstarcode.org.

A special thanks to the Benefit Co-Chairs, Benefit Committee Members, guests, supporters, and Alimay Events for making the evening such a success!

Have a look at the photos from the event.

Troy Carter, Marcus Mitchell, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Christina Lewis Halpern, Valentino D. Carlotti, and Frank A.Baker

Troy Carter, Marcus Mitchell, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Christina Lewis Halpern, Valentino D. Carlotti, and Frank A.Baker

Troy Carter, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Christina Lewis Halpern, Valentino Carlotti

Troy Carter, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Christina Lewis Halpern, Valentino Carlotti

Olivia Jordan, Miss USA 2015

Olivia Jordan, Miss USA 2015

All Stars

All Stars

Announcing Our 2014 Annual Report

IMG_1592Nearly two years ago, fourteen-year-old Mamadou Diallo had a great idea. After learning some rudimentary coding at school, Mamadou wanted some work experience at a tech company to further his skills and knowledge. Being a motivated self-starter, Mamadou, who was raised in Guinea, the seventh of nine children, sought help by posting in the New York Tech Meetup, a free-wheeling online forum for thousands of tech professionals.

“My name is Mamadou Diallo and I am 14 years old and in the 10th grade. All I’m asking is for someone to let me volunteer or help out at a start up or company. I don’t want to receive any pay.”

Mamadou received some advice, most of it intangible, and all of it ultimately unhelpful.

Mamadou failed to get the internship offer he was seeking. Yet, as we teach our students, we celebrate his failure because it led to opportunity. A few months later, I spotted his email and recruited him to attend All Star Code’s Fall 2013 launch event at Spotify.

Today, not only is sixteen-year old Mamadou armed with an ASC-provided laptop, but he is one bad-ass coder too. He builds websites. He is paid $10 an hour to teach coding to middle school students. And he is a winner of the 2015 Princeton Prize for race relations for his work co-founding The Young Hackers, a student-run organization incubated by ASC that fosters a new generation of programmers. I am tremendously proud of Mamadou, and I thank our entire staff for supporting his and his fellow students’ learning and growth.

Despite his hard work and tireless dedication, Mamadou would have experienced much frustration breaking into the tech industry without the help of All Star Code. We accelerated his growth. We fostered his relationship with his teammates. And to bring it full circle, he is now one of All Star Code’s top recruiters, bringing friends of his to our offices to shake our hands and fill out applications.

In our first year of operation, I am thrilled to share that All Star Code successfully hit all its intended milestones. In two years, we have evolved from an unproven and radical idea with a lone founder into a recognized leader in the tech inclusion and economic justice movement with a core team of six.

We remain early stage, but demand for our program is strong. We received a combined 350+ applications for our unique coding and tech entrepreneurship training courses. Our flagship program, the six-week Summer Intensive, proved an unqualified success with 100% of graduates planning to pursue a tech-related career post-program and 95% now strongly considering a career in computer science. Overall, we have reached over 200 students through our workshops and other tech-related events. That impact is extraordinary in such a short timeframe. It is a testament to all the help we have received from you, our donors and supporters.

The tech industry is growing faster than ever, but tech talent is becoming more difficult to find. There will be over 1.4 million new tech jobs by 2020, and by 2040, Blacks and Latinos will make up 42% of the population. And yet African-Americans currently comprise less than 1% of startup founding teams, a critical catalyst of job growth and wealth creation. All Star Code has significantly raised awareness about the lack of Blacks and Latinos in the tech sector, the need for dedicated programs focused on young men of color, and the importance of teaching not just coding, but a shift in mindset from consumer to “hacker” as well.

We are currently processing what we learned from our pilot year, and moving forward with exciting new programming. In 2015, you will see us expand our footprint in NYC, growing our Summer Intensive alumni to a total of 60, and raising our total student reach to 800 via our one-day workshops and Hackathons. We will also refine our program model and continue to support our graduates over the next several years. Once you are an All Star, you’re with us for life.

Your support has enabled an extraordinary investment in our boys. Please continue to invest in us and spread our message far and wide. We want to reach more untapped talent, and keep our Summer Intensive entirely free. We cannot do this without you.

Take a look at our 2014 Annual Report HERE.

ASC Partners Up With AlleyNYC!

We are excited to announce that AlleyNYC is returning as our host partner for Summer 2015! Together, All Star Code and AlleyNYC are pioneering a new form of “tech education,” pairing our unique coding instruction with exposure to top tech entrepreneurs.

AlleyNYC and its tenants are great supporters of All Star Code, and their community’s dedication to the enrichment of our youth was critical to our first Summer’s success. CEO & Co-Founder Jason Saltzman, COO Nsi Obotetukudo, and the entire Alley team are fantastic entreprenurial role models as well. They show our kids how to hustle!

With this partnership, ASC students will have regular mentorship opportunities withAlleyNYC tenants, and at summer’s end, AlleyNYC will host a large high school hackathon organized by ASC’s students. We’re thrilled to partner up with AlleyNYC once again, and we are grateful to them for subsidizing a portion of student lunches as well.

Learn more about “The Most Badass Coworking Space On The Planet” at AlleyNYC.com.

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Dropbox For Good recently made an incredible donation to All Star Code as well, and we’re thrilled to welcome many of their employee mentors at our upcoming Summer Intensive. We look forward to announcing more about Dropbox and many of our other new and exciting partnerships soon.

Meet Our New Program Manager, Alessandra Carter!

A Carter HeadshotAs the newest member of the team, I am both eager to connect with the ASC community and extremely proud to support the academic and social growth of our scholars. I use the word proud because I understand the significance of contributing to an ecosystem of support for our boys. As reported by the Schott Foundation, the 2012-2013 school year data indicates a national graduation rate of just 59% for Black males and 65% for Latino males, as compared to 80% for White males. Our program is working to close the educational gap between boys of color and their counterparts, and I’m so excited to be a part of it!

Prior joining to All Star Code, I managed student advocacy and academic initiatives within Harlem Children’s Zone. As the founding manager of the student advocacy program, my team was responsible for building relationships with teachers and families in order to better support student’s needs. This meant expanding my understanding of social work and special education services here in New York City. I learned so much and I truly enjoyed leading a team that advocated for students and parents of color. In addition to the advocacy program, I collaborated with the high school program manager to infuse diversity awareness and college planning activities into our after school program.

Joining All Star Code is a natural progression in my career and I look forward to supporting many initiatives. Without a doubt, my favorite aspect of this role is ASC recruitment. I love visiting different schools to speak with youth! Since February, I’ve co-led recruitment efforts in Brownsville Brooklyn, Harlem, the Bronx and Manhattan. During the visits, I share information about ASC, but I also take in the school culture, learn about student interests, and simply have fun.

Moving forward, I look forward to running a great Summer Intensive, creating more opportunities for ASC alumni, and cultivating partnerships with mission-aligned organizations. This year, our Summer Intensive will double in size. We are also implementing leadership aspects and inviting our ASC alum to work as Summer Fellows. There just might be some other cool stuff, but I’ll keep that a secret for now!

Have questions? Want to know more about me? Contact me at alessandra@allstarcode.org.