Among the efforts being introduced to engage the youth of our community, CODECREW stands to tackle the digital skills divide to ensure that a greater number of young techies is cultivated in the city of Memphis!
“There are a large amount of kids who don’t have access to computer resources, and yet colleges and jobs still expect them to be prepared once that time comes,” said Audrey Jones, one of three CODECREW founders. “We need to invest in them now to assure a powerful workforce in the future.”
CODECREW is a non-profit organization involved in the youth coding movement in Memphis, specifically targeting middle school students. Their mission is to “encourage Memphis area children, especially from underrepresented demographic groups, to pursue careers in computer science”.
“The kids we work with are at that vital age where they are old enough to comprehend and develop techniques, but young enough that they don’t exactly know what their career interests are,” Jones said. “The sooner they are introduced to computer science tactics, the quicker their eyes are open to new possibilities.”
Last year, in partnership with the Grizzlies Foundation, CODECREW’s 2015 pilot program included a one-day workshop, a six-week, in-depth digital code camp and a hackathon. This year, they will be hosting an after-school program at the Lester Community Center in Binghampton, in addition to two summer camps. CODECREW hopes to established in five middle schools by September.
“We want to give our students every opportunity achieve,” Jones said. “Whether it be pairing them with a mentor for one on one sessions or giving them hands on lessons with certified professionals, these kids are getting tangible exposure. Who knows? We could be working with future CEO’s and entrepreneurs of the city.”