On Saturday, representatives Bytuah and Donna from Microsoft came out to Emory University to volunteer with Usher’s New Look by leading our Atlanta Academy youth in an hour of coding lessons. This experience was part of www.code.org‘s greater, worldwide initiative to get as many youth as possible exposed to computer science through the experience of learning and completing up to 50 lines of code in just one hour. Backed by supporters like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, and will.i.am, the goal of the strategy is to introduce youth to computer science, a top paying college degree, because computer programming jobs are growing at two times the national average. CODE predicts, by 2020, there will be one million more jobs in coding than there are students of coding, leaving $500 billion of opportunity available for the taking. Currently less than 2.4% of college students graduate with degrees in computer science, and this figure has dropped in the past decade. In addition, by exposing underrepresented minority and female youth to these highly rewarding career paths, the initiative seeks to help close the opportunity gap.
Terez Chapman, a junior in high school, attended the event and had this to say about her experience:
“Although I’m not as technical savvy as I could be, my generation is one of technology. I had prior knowledge of encryptions and coding when I took computer classes, but there was no instant gratification. However, the coding session with our Microsoft ‘Geek Squad’ was engaging, insightful, and modernized. The appreciation of their professions shone through the eyes of our guests. Donna and Bytuah were sure to use clarity while explaining everything. We were able to complete up to fifty lines of code while playing Angry Birds games and understanding what we were doing and why we were doing it. The New Look experience is becoming more than just an organization for me; it’s becoming a lifestyle including new exposures and challenges. I really enjoyed the session and look forward to the agenda we have lined up ahead!” Read More about the event here.
So far over 16 million youth ages 13-18 have participated in the hour of coding lesson and together have coded over 547 million lines of code! Thank you Bytuah and Donna for donating your time in order to give our youth this enriching experience.