All Star Code Hosts First Hackathon, All Star Hacks!

On December 12th, over 70 high school students traveled to General Assembly’s offices in NYC for a day of learning and coding. All Star Hacks was All Star Code’s first hackathon focusing on the diversification of the tech sector.

I helped to organize the hackathon in collaboration with All Star Code. It was smooth, simple, and easy. We didn’t have a lot of time to organize the event, but it was an incredible success in no small part due to the participation of the wonderful All Stars and staff at All Star Code.

My favorite part of All Star Hacks was the Intro to Coding workshop. Many of our participants were first time hackers. Watching the excitement on their faces, capturing their feelings of wonder on camera, and seeing their finished hacks of awesomeness was amazing.

I invited a number of students from my school. Seeing them enveloped in the workshop, keeping themselves involved and amazed was beautiful to behold. Seeing Charles, a freshman from my school, making friends with other first time hackers made me incredibly happy.

Though we ended the hackathon a bit early, bringing together a large number of diverse first time hackers was enough to solidify the success of the event. At All Star Hacks, we gave students a taste of beauty in the tech world. I saw them leave General Assembly that day with a feeling to cultivate that into something bigger.

Written by Surendra, 2015 All Star

All Star Hacks

A special thanks to the All Star Hacks team including all of our alumni organizers and leader mentors, Isaiah Greene from Google and Phil Marshall from the Paley Center for Media as well as our generous hosts at General Assembly!

Join us for All Star Hacks!

Successful technologists are measured by their effectiveness as collaborators and communicators. The notion that nothing great is accomplished alone is especially true in coding. Even the most senior web developer needs a second opinion when it comes to approaching a complicated problem. As coders, we learn the most about our projects and ourselves by taking a step back and asking our peers for constructive input.

As a mentor for All Star Code and All Star Hacks, I get to see the power of collective effort firsthand. A hackathon is the ultimate exercise in collaboration and communication. I truly feel lucky to have a helping hand in formulating the structure for their ideas to flourish. Make no mistake, All Star Hacks is a hackathon put on by young hackers, for young hackers. Every detail of the 12hr day of activities was thought of and planned by these young men. It inspires me to work with them…I’m reminded of how important it is to stay hungry.

On Saturday December 12, high school students from all over New York City will have a chance to dive into the exciting world of opportunities that technology has to offer. The best part is that they get to have fun while challenging themselves, their peers, and their mentors.

What else can students look forward to at All Star Hacks?

  • Meet All Star Code staff and learn about programs
  • Speak with graduates of All Star Code programs
  • Project based coding workshops for all skill levels, even beginners
  • Plenty of food, snacks, and swag


  • If you know of a talented young hacker, or any NYC area high school student interested in learning more about web development, register now.

    All Star Hacks
    Saturday, December 12th
    9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    @ General Assembly

    Spaces are filling up fast. Reserve your spot today!

    This post was written by All Star Code mentor, Phil Marshall. Phil works as Web and Social Media Producer for The Paley Center for Media.

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    Team All Star Code Raises Over $11K



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    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
    2

    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

    ElliottHometown
    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

    Sahmra
    Hometown
    Born in Philadelphia raised in Wilton, CT

    Current Residence
    Maryland/DC

    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.

    Young Hackers Collaborate with All Star Code on Local Hack Day

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    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!

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    Don’t Miss Local Hack Day!

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    Originated by Major League Hacking, Local Hackday is a series of hackathons that take place around the world and our boys are leading one in New York City.

    On October 10th, graduates of All Star Code’s Summer Intensive will lead LocalHackDay NYC at General Assembly in cooperation with the Young Hackers, a hacking organization founded by All Stars Austin Carvey and Mamadou Diallo. Hackathons have become an exciting way for All Stars to build their CS skills, network, and engage in friendly competition.

    All Star Code is thrilled to support our boys as they establish themselves as leaders in tech community.

    What can students look forward to?

  • Meeting ASC staff and learning about our programs
  • Speaking to graduates of our Summer Intensive Program
  • Peer-teaching and learning
  • Lunch and snacks!
  • ​If you or someone you ​know is interested in attending, please register now! No previous coding experience is necessary.

    Space is limited. Secure your spot today!

    REGISTER

    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

    World of Coding 2

    This past Saturday, February 28th, All Star Code held a World of Coding (WoC II) workshop at Microsoft’s Times Square office. The day kicked off with a warm welcome from ASC’s Founder & Executive Director, Christina Lewis Halpern, and a great introduction into the Microsoft Youthspark program from Microsoft’s Operations & Community Manager, Antuan Santana. The ASC team & volunteers shared a few words about their roles and favorite technology, and then gave the floor to the first of four instructors for the day.

    Our first instructor, Taofeek Rabiu, Senior Director of Engineering at Jibe Inc, spoke with enthusiasm about the power of having a “Hacking Mentality”, with several unique anecdotes about our perceptions of hackers. The students then broke into groups and selected themes for their own startups out of a hat. For example, one of the groups selected a ‘Health & Exercise’ theme and designed an app called MotivatorX that helps users with clean eating and workout tips.

    Next up, Elissa Weinzimmer, Founder of Voice Body Connection, worked with the students on vocal, pitching and presentation skills in her Power of Self-Presentation module. With her suggestions and tips in mind, it was incredible to see the difference this module made in the quality of student pitches.

    Following the short pitches, Max Weinbrown, Software Engineer at App Nexus, led a great session called The Power of Coding + Design, during which the students built twitter bots that showcased their startups.

    Closing the day with great energy was Computer Science Instructor Sean Stern’s module, The Power of Robotics. During this final part of the workshop, students learned, using pre-installed computer software, how to program a robotic car to follow a specific list of commands, ultimately drawing the students’ first business logo.

    With closing remarks and information about our Summer Intensive in tow, the students left Microsoft on high, excited about their continued pursuit of knowledge and experience in computer science. Check out some photos from the day and the social media recap of the workshop below.

    Catalyst SAT Bootcamp

    On March 7th and 8th, All Star Code will team up with Catalyst Prep and AlleyNYC to present the Catalyst SAT Bootcamp. This unique workshop will last 4 hours each day, and will provide students with essential prep for their upcoming test. The Catalyst SAT Bootcamp is the only workshop designed by instructors who take the actual SAT every time the test is offered, and have earned multiple perfect scores as a result. The Catalyst SAT Bootcamp is not a “mock” SAT – this one-weekend workshop arms students with go-to strategies for every question they’re guaranteed to face on the test.

    The bootcamp will be hosted at AlleyNYC – “The Most Badass Co-working Space on the Planet” – where All Star Code held its first Summer Intensive program last summer. With several All Star Code Alums in attendance, this bootcamp will also be a great opportunity to meet students who can tell you what it’s like to be a part of the ASC ecosystem.

    See the below flyer for more details, feel free to reach out to Info@CatalystPrep.com with additional questions, and get pumped for the Catalyst SAT Bootcamp. We look forward to seeing you there!

    SAT_Bootcamp_Jan2015_v5

    Design A Startup In A Day Takes Over Google!

    DESIGN A STARTUP IN A DAY TAKES OVER GOOGLE!

    On Saturday, November 1st, we held our first Design a Startup in a Day workshop of the season at Google. After some enthusiastic icebreakers and random selection of group CEOs, the students jumped right in to designing their own music-themed startups.

    With intensive group discussion, mentor panels, and wireframing under their belts, the students ended the day presenting some of the apps they had created to their families and mentors. The judges and audience alike were impressed by the students’ creativity and attention to detail.

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    After the workshop, more than 75% of the participants shared that they were satisfied with the overall Design a Start Up in a Day event.

    After the workshop, more than 75% of the participants shared that they are interested in applying to attend All Star Code’s 2015 six-week Summer Intensive.

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    One student shared: “My favorite part of today’s program was how much teamwork was put into the presentations.”

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    For more photos from the workshop, visit the gallery page on our website HERE.

    We look forward to our second Design a Startup in a Day workshop of the season, held at General Assembly onDecember 13th.

    UPDATE: THE YOUNG HACKERS

    The Young Hackers, an organization started by two of our All Star Code alumni (Mamadou Diallo and Austin Carvey), have kept busy and are continuing their outreach and engagement in the tech space. Most recently, they partnered with Monthly Music Hackathon and held an event at Spotify on November 1st. Some of their ongoing projects include: helping StudentRND organize CodeDayNYC and helping to organize a Local Hack Day event with Major League Hacking for December. We are proud of what they have accomplished thus far and look forward to providing continuous support and hearing further updates about their work.

    PRESS

    “The New York woman inspiring young men from minority backgrounds to code.” Check out a brand new feature on Christina and All Star Code at Nature.com.

    BLOG

    Have you checked out the new All Star Code blog? This week’s entry, The All Star Code Impact, comes from our Director of Marketing & Events, Michael Schwartz.

    Michael Schwartz

    OUR FAMILY IS GROWING!

    Meet our new Development Manager, Christina Licata!

    Christina Licata

    Christina developed a passion for connecting people with nonprofits while working and volunteering at various educational organizations in NYC. Taking her work from the ESL classroom to the front lines of philanthropy, Christina has raised awareness and financial support for educational and athletic causes for over six years. After transplanting to Brooklyn from Tempe, Arizona, Christina co-founded the New York Lady Magpies Australian football team and currently serves as the head coach. She is so excited to be joining the team at All Star Code.

    In other news, congratulations to our founder Christina Lewis Halpern and her husband Dan Halpern on the birth of their daughter, Sasha! Everyone is happy and healthy.

    JOIN OUR MISSION!

    We want to give a shout out to the following organizations who have supported our Summer Intensive student’s continued engagement with technology:

    Ruby On Rails, One Month Swift, Treehouse, MakeGamesWithUs, Cracking The Coding Interview, Dev Bootcamp, Codiqa, and Twilio.

    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.