I’m incredibly passionate about providing opportunities to those who might not be born into an environment where they have opportunities,. Growing up in a single parent household in Chicago, I was provided opportunities by influential people who invested in me; helping with college, career, family and most importantly provided me the confidence I needed to succeed. Because of that experience, I want to be the one that creates a space where everyone can succeed.
That space is Cultivating Coders, where our goal is to provide social impact in isolated communities, particularly for students in middle school and high school. We use project-based learning with a strong emphasis on computer science and coding. The traditional model requires students to come to an urban place to learn these skills. Our approach is to bring the learning experience to the students. We pack our tool box and parachute into communities throughout New Mexico and the Southwest. The program is free of cost to every student. Additionally, we provide a laptop to each participant, one that they keep upon completion of the camp. Technically, we don’t work in cities; we work primarily in small towns, like Gallup, Shiprock, and Espanola, New Mexico. Our impact to date: 167 students have attended camp with a 94% completion rate; over 60% of graduates are women; and 80% are Native American. Graduates of our program have gone on to work as freelancers for companies like RS21, Rural Sourcing Inc. and the City of Albuquerque.