Computer science mentors

These students are getting skilled up through their computer science mentor

Creating something new is so powerful – just ask the students who work with Emerging Leaders in Technology and Engineering (ELiTE) and New York City Department of Education teacher, and their computer science mentor Joel Bianchi, at the Frederick Douglass Academy in New York’s Harlem neighborhood.

Joel’s team of kids dedicate after-hours time to creating amazing things, from robots that play sports to fashion accessories powered by computer chips. Ex-students like Charlton Smith are now coming back to mentor younger kids. “No one in my family knows how to program. I fell into it messing with Windows environments,” Charlton says.

Joel also works with Chelsey Roebuck from ELiTE, a STEM-education-focused youth organization based in New York City, which started out as a program teaching kids in Ghana. Through ELiTE, the group has met some amazing mentors. “Hundreds of students like Charlton go through the global programs, then return as volunteers and instructors to give back,” Chelsey says.

Being a mentor isn’t all one way – the college students also get to learn and gain exposure to the content themselves. “I learn so much more and so much better when I have to explain a concept to someone else,” Chelsey says.

Code camps

Computer science mentor Korey Sewell

Computer science mentor Dr Korey Sewell works to empower youth through summer coding camps

Working as a computer engineer is a dream come true. At Apple, I get to work on products that millions of people will use every day. My focus is on CPUs (central processing units), which are often called the “brains” of things like smartphones and tablets. It’s a blast.

I’m also a Summer Tech Camp Director where I teach kids how to code and build electronics. Teaching is crazy fun. What makes it even better is I get to try out camp projects with my kids.

My parents always encouraged me to not just play games but figure out how to build them myself. This mindset led me to learn how to code.

I believe empowering youth through technology will inspire changes that will help communities thrive in ways we’ve never seen before. My advice to kids is to start with coding! It’s fun, easy to start up and learn, and there’s plenty of online support.

Learn to code, search the directory for camps, clubs and codes near you or how to start your own, and ask your school for any further info.

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