Diversity & Inclusion
Coding / Education / Mentorship / Web development

Want to make the tech world better? Join ScriptEd and teach kids to code

ScriptEd is trying to lower the barrier to entry to careers in the tech world — and they need your help.

A sneak peek at the future. (Photo courtesy of ScriptEd)

Computer programmers are among the most privileged laborers of any profession. That has to do not with some generalized temperament they share, or the sometimes bonkers amounts of money that get thrown around in the industry, but rather it usually means someone took the time to teach them the skill of computer programming.
Learning to code is a high barrier to entry for the field of web and software development, and a lot, if not most, kids in high school aren’t taught it. And particularly in Brooklyn public high schools, the resources simply aren’t there.
That’s where ScriptEd comes in, and they’re looking for your help.
For the last five years, ScriptEd has been running after-school programs at New York City public schools teaching kids basic and advanced web development. This year the program has more than 900 students enrolled, said ScriptEd Director of Programs Shane Morris.
“The way we go about achieving the mission is by recruiting, training and supporting volunteers who are professional developers,” he said in an interview.
To teach the 900 students, ScriptEd has a team of about 200 volunteer instructors, who are split into groups of four that teach classes of about 20 kids. The classes teach front-end development skills (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and the curriculum is provided by ScriptEd, which has built and refined it over the years.
Sign up to volunteer
These skills can really make a difference in a student’s life trajectory, Morris said.
Not only is there instruction, but students are also brought to the headquarters of partner tech firms during the year to see what they’re like on the inside. In recent years, Google, Etsy, eBay and Oscar Health have all opened their doors to the young coders, most of whom are sophomores or juniors. ScriptEd encourages those who’ve completed the course as sophomores to take a more advanced course junior year. Those who complete that course are encouraged and aided in applying for paid summer internships at New York City tech companies. Last year, Morris said, more than 75 students got such internships.
Seeing kids go from zero computer skills to a summer internship at Google freaking rules for their volunteer teachers, Morris more or less said.

“Our volunteers consistently report that volunteering is one of their most fun part of the week,” he said. “It’s rewarding for them because it gives them the opportunity to share their knowledge and meet youth who we think will be the future of the tech industry.”

Companies: ScriptEd
Series: Brooklyn

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