Monthly Archives: August 2014

ASC Summer Intensive Commencement


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.”


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,, as well as a short documentary about our Summer Intensive.

All Star Code Summer Intensive


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


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



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!


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.


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


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.







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.





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


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.


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.


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.




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.


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!



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!