"CodeNow expands to Miami to introduce more youth to the tech world" by Ryan Seashore on Knight Blog
MIAMI – (April 29, 2014) – CodeNow, a national nonprofit that provides underrepresented high school students free training in computer programming, is expanding to Miami with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The nonprofit is currently accepting applications for its pilot program from Miami-area high school students who are interested in technology; training sessions will be held June 14, 15 and 28.
Launched in 2011, the program offers students a real-world view into a career in the tech industry with classes that cater to different levels of experience: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The core of the program involves in-person training supported by outside learning and technology study. Training sessions are hosted at local tech companies and led by top computer programmers. CodeNow targets underrepresented groups in tech, including women, minorities and those from low-income neighborhoods, and aims to reduce traditional barriers to access. Applications are accepted multiple times throughout the year, providing up to 60 students with over 25 hours of computer programming experience.
“CodeNow offers yet another opportunity to make Miami a place where ideas and talent thrive,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “The program provides important skills to young people who can add to Miami’s growing pool of diverse entrepreneurs and are vital to shaping our city’s future.”
“Miami is a dynamic place with a thriving tech community. With the support of Knight Foundation, we are excited to launch our program and teach youth from Miami to look under the hood of technology and allow the local ecosystem to grow and flourish,” said Ryan Seashore, CodeNow Founder and CEO.
In March of 2014 CodeNow completed the Y Combinator’s program as part of the startup accelerator’s first batch of nonprofits; through this experience CodeNow plans to grow and scale its model. Miami will be the first city to benefit from this expanded program, with added support from Knight Foundation.
In addition to Miami, CodeNow has programs in the Bay Area, New York, and Washington, D.C., and has worked with hundreds of students from underrepresented backgrounds providing more than 19,000 hours of free training in computer programming. More than 90 percent of CodeNow students receive a free or reduced lunch, and 45 percent of alumni are young women. After completing the program, 35 percent of graduating seniors have gone on to study computer science in college.
The expansion of CodeNow to Miami forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and opportunity. Over the past 18 months, Knight has made more than 50 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.
CodeNow is a nonprofit focused on teaching underrepresented high school students foundational skills in computer programming. We seek to diversify the talent pipeline of students who pursue computer science and technology. Our program is essential because it lowers the barriers normally associated with technology by giving students exposure to programming at an early age when they are beginning to explore their options and opportunities. For more, visit www.CodeNow.org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.KnightFoundation.org.
Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]
Ryan Seashore, Founder/CEO, CodeNow, [email protected]