Monthly Archives: April 2015

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

Spotlight On ASC Alums: Volume 1

DevonDevon Howell
Age 16
Rising Senior
Bronx High School of Science, Columbia University Class Of 2019

​ASC. Looking back, what was the most valuable thing you learned at the
ASC Summer Intensive?

​DH​. I learned that failure IS an option, so long as it is a springboard for success. I am defined by failures only in the sense that they have added experience to my life.

​ASC​. What tech related activities are you up to now?

​DH​. I am involved in an organization called The Young Hackers. My job is to organize mentors and workshops during our hackathons. I make sure that everyone who needs help gets it.

​ASC​. What piece of advice would you give to the next cohort of All

​DH​. Always challenge yourself. If you’re not struggling, you’re likely not learning. Taking on challenges give you valuable experience and an indescribable sense of accomplishment.

EricEric Razor
Age 16
Rising Junior
Academy for Software Engineering

​ASC​. What was your favorite part of the ASC Summer Intensive?

​ER​. My favorite part of The ASC Summer Intensive was networking. I got to meet so many incredible people like Michael Lisovetsky and Jason Marmon, who have a real estate startup called Skylight (Check it out!) I also loved team building every Wednesday with my fellow All Stars. I got to know so many different lives. ASC truly changed mine.

​ASC​. Looking back, what was the most valuable thing you learned at the
ASC Summer Intensive?

​ER​. The most valuable thing I learned at The ASC Summer Intensive was to ask. Along with coding, learning to ask is the most powerful tool you have. One of our speakers, Avi Flombaum of The Flatiron School, was really good at emphasizing the need to struggle. Struggle leads to asking good questions. You never know until you ask.

​ASC​. How did ASC help you find or create your current opportunities?

​ER​. I would have never been able to do what I can do now without ASC. I am a lot more curious. I ask a lot more questions. I want to know why things work the way they work. I tackle problems more slowly. I ask for help. I refuse to give up.

AustinAustin Carvey
Age 16
Rising Junior
High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at City College

​ASC​. What was your experience with coding and tech prior to participating in All Star Code’s workshops and Summer Intensive?

A​C​. Before All Star Code, I completed one Javascript course. The course gave me a high level understanding of many coding concepts, but no real experience with how to implement them, and no real hacking philosophy either.

​ASC​. What tech related activities are you up to now?

A​C​. I co-founded a collective called The Young Hackers with my fellow All Star, Mamadou. We plan hackathons for other high schoolers. Since our inception, we have had four very successful hackathons and over 400 happy hackers in attendance. Most of our fellow All Stars have been involved one way or another as well. I’m also taking AP Computer Science at my school, but it’s been a breeze for me. So I enjoy helping my classmates with their assignments so they too can learn the joy of hacking.

​ASC​. How did ASC help you find or create your current opportunities?

A​C​. All Star Code introduced me to hackathons, and gave me the drive and the team to start The Young Hackers. The algorithmic thinking I developed at the Summer Intensive made my AP Computer Science curriculum really simple to understand. I can break down complex problems into simpler ones and solve those quickly, ending up with an effective solution. All Star Code ignited a fire in me, which has inspired me to create projects outside of school, and keep that joy alive.