Monthly Archives: November 2015

Team All Star Code Raises Over $11K


Team All Star Code joined forces to run the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon on November 1st. Andrea Casillas, Elliott Wiley, and Sahmra Stevenson generously donated their time and months of training to raise funds for our boys. Not only did all three members finish the race with flying colors, but Team All Star Code raised over $11,000 to support All Star Code’s programming. A special thanks to our runners and all those who helped them cross the finish line. Learn more about Team All Star Code below!

Andrea Casillas

Drea copyHometown
Born in Albuquerque, NM and raised in Mesa, AZ

Current Residence
Brooklyn, NY

Why did you run for Team All Star Code?
I work in technology, have a teenage son who is an underrepresented minority in tech/science, am an athlete and really love the mission of All Star Code. It also helps that Christina Licata is my sister!

Number of Marathons Completed

What was special about this one?
This time I was able to combine all my worlds and contribute to a cause that creates meaningful change.

Anything else you would like our community to know.
Watching all the videos and interviews of the young men who participate in this program brings such a smile to my face. The kids are incredibly smart and extremely excited to learn, create and share their work with the rest of the world. I’m happy knowing that these are future leaders in tech.

Elliott Wiley

Baltimore, MD

Current Residence
New York, NY

Why did you run for Team All Star Code?
The students who participate in All Star Code’s programs are amazing! Seeing their passion, creativity and ability to design and implement tech driven ideas is inspiring.

Number of Marathons Completed
4 (3x New York City Marathon)

What was special about this one?
Raising nearly $12k for All Star Code and running through every New York City borough is a next level feeling! It was also special because our entire team was able to exceed fundraising goals and finish the marathon.

Anything else you would like our community to know?
Please continue supporting All Star Code!

Sahmra Stevenson

Born in Philadelphia raised in Wilton, CT

Current Residence

Why did you run for Team All Star Code?
Because Elliott told me to (smile). No…because when I learned about what a unique and inspiring charity it was I couldn’t say no.

Number of Marathons Completed
This makes 8 full marathons and 7 half marathons

What was special about this one?
It was in New York! I noticed more water stations than any other race I’ve ever seen, but over all the crowd participation and energy was off the chain.

Anything else you would like our community to know?
I would do it all over again.

Meet Alberto Tornes, All Star Code’s New Community Manager!

1798160_10152410504568342_8551836749508346144_nThe United States of America is a country of opportunity. As an immigrant I can attest to the veracity of this claim. Those who have the drive to work hard, those who are willing to fail and turn their failures into learning opportunities, and those who work insatiably to achieve their goals are, without a doubt, destined for success. But opportunity does not come easily. Many times it is not clear enough. Sometimes it is up to socially conscious people and organizations to break down the barriers that hinder opportunity from being shared equally.

Joining All Star Code is an opportunity to work tirelessly to diversify America’s fastest growing industry: the technology sector. With blacks and Latinos representing a combined 9% of tech employees, and with over 1.4 million new technology-related jobs being predicted by 2020, it is imperative that the tech industry resembles a bit more what this country is: a nation that has historically embraced diversity and one that thrives from multiple cultural perspectives.

As All Star Code’s new Community Manager, I will be spearheading our newest program: the Alumni Accelerator. This recently launched program was designed in order to continue creating opportunities for our boys to get more immersed within the technology industry. I will be managing our existing relationships with tech companies and forging new ones to provide our boys with meaningful experiential learning and mentorship opportunities.

Prior to joining All Star Code, I worked at AID FOR AIDS International, a New York City-based nonprofit, developing and executing fundraising and marketing campaigns. This experience allowed me to better understand the world of social innovation and the need to develop programs and initiatives with a social impact focus. As a social entrepreneur, I also co-founded StartUp Cuba, an initiative created with the mission of fostering an ever-more dynamic culture of entrepreneurship in Cuba by empowering a new generation of socially minded entrepreneurs.

I have arrived at All Star Code captivated by our mission and fascinated by the knowledge and entrepreneurial grit that our boys exhibit. I am honored to work alongside a remarkable group of professionals that wake up every day to break down barriers and challenge the status quo. I look forward to working relentlessly on your behalf, continuing to level the playing field for minority groups within the tech sector.

If you wish to connect and learn more about me, feel free to reach out at and/or @artornes.

Young Hackers Collaborate with All Star Code on Local Hack Day


Most high school students would do very little besides sleep in on a Saturday morning. But on October 10th, over 60 high school students traveled to the Flatiron District for a day of coding. Local Hack Day is a global hackathon, and The Young Hackers participated by hosting their own Local Hack Day at General Assembly.

High School students from across the city, many of whom were first time hackers, sat anxiously in their seats waiting for the event to begin. NYC’s CTO, Minerva Tantoco, gave awesome opening remarks, reminding the hackers how important their work is, and wishing them luck.

After our Co-Founder Mamadou Diallo gave some additional remarks, the hacking began. Students were forced out of their comfort zones, as many of them didn’t know anyone at the hackathon. They quickly made friends, and soon after teams were solidified. The atmosphere was electric. A constant flow of snacks kept the hackers energized and a series of introductory workshops ensured that every hacker was well equipped, regardless of their prior knowledge of coding.

We had a particularly intense beginner workshop for hackers starting from scratch. When they finished and re-entered the room, everyone in the space applauded them and welcomed them to the Young Hacker family.

Diverse programming kept the spirit and creativity up, from longboard races with mentors to rap-battles with engineers. The sun began to set when dinner arrived, but crunch time was just beginning. Hackers worked hard to polish their projects and pitches one final time before they presented to our panel of judges.

The hackathon was only 12 hours long, but the outcome was amazing. The projects ranged from iPhone apps that made practicing Math fun, all the way to a 3D Frogger-esque escape game. After taking a massive group selfie with a selfie stick courtesy of Major League Hacking, everyone helped clean up before heading home with a new love for technology.

Check out all of the photos from Local Hack Day!