From the moment I heard about All Star Code’s mission, and about Christina’s commitment to ensuring that more young men have the opportunity to achieve success and greatness in today’s economy, I knew I had found the organization doing some of the most important work today.
Long before joining All Star Code, I made my life’s vocation about supporting others, being a link in the “chain of a million hands” that helps people along their professional and personal journeys. I played many roles, from teaching 30+ 6th grade Latino and Black students in South Central LA as a pioneer Teach for America corps member, to building the nascent systems and operations at a celebrated charter High School in Newark, New Jersey, to managing the team at Computers for Youth-NYC, a non-profit that provides access to computers and educational software to public school students, parents and teachers throughout the five boroughs.
Students of color. Education. Youth Development. Opportunity. Success. Systems-Building. Technology. These have been my passions, and the materials I’ve used to forge links in supporting the lives of others. So, imagine my sense of surprise I when stumbled upon All Star Code’s work – and, more importantly, Christina’s vision.
All Star Code places talented and driven young high school boys of color on the path to becoming successful engineers and entrepreneurs. It is the most relevant prep program of our time, just as prep programs for law, medicine and engineering were for earlier generations. Indeed, technology now creates opportunities for those with vision to create unparalleled economic success and social transformation. For our young boys, I view All Star Code as the proverbial “missing link” to minority success in today’s tech sector.
Anyone who has seen our students in action during workshops knows that we are onto something. They are so inspired, so eager to learn, so intent on taking advantage of the knowledge imparted and the mentor guidance. It has been worth all of the hard work to organize these special events. And now, we look forward to the Summer Intensive. As student applications continue to pour in, we have the difficult task of choosing our inaugural class of 20 All Stars. Christina and I wish that we could provide program space for all applicants. We are the only program in existence for boys of color in the NYC area. But that time will come in subsequent years. For now, we are excited to be the link to success for those who attend the Summer Intensive.
Since joining All Star Code, I have worked with some amazing people, the true “All Stars” that are building an ecosystem of education and support for our students. Christina, Nicole, Michael, and David have all been committed, first-rate and fun to work with. The mentors from tech companies like Spotify, General Assembly, Tumblr, and AOL have been incredible allies as well.
So many others have demonstrated their commitment to serve as additional links in the chain of programmatic success that we are building for our kids. Whether you’ve helped us recruit outstanding talent, made a tax deductible donation to help support our programming, or shared a digital postcard of ours on social media, we thank you for being a part of our growing community.
As Managing Director, I have seen many of you supporting our work – whether through funding, partnerships, or mentoring. And I can say that what we’ve accomplished together has been nothing short of amazing, inspiring, and heartening. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for our organization, and more importantly, for our All Stars.