All Star Code: Teaching Coding and Leadership Skills

All Star Code: Teaching Coding and Leadership Skills

By: Anne Wintroub, Director of Social Innovation, AT&T.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 5:35pm

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In 2015, AT&T sponsored 7 young men of color for All Star Code’s 2015 Summer Intensive program. Since their graduation, our AT&T scholars have continued to develop their computer science and coding skills and grow into remarkable leaders. Here is an update from one of these scholars, John Abreu. We are proud to support All Star Code and the amazing young men they serve with additional support in 2016.

John Abreu, a Bronx native, recently completed his senior year at Horace Mann School. He graduated from All Star Code’s summer intensive program in 2015. John was always active in his school’s tech community as an organizer but never felt comfortable participating as a coder. During the All Star Code Summer Intensive, John learned to build projects independently and gained experience collaborating with other students. He worked with two fellow students to develop HOWL as their final project. HOWL is a mobile/web application that utilizes mobile phones’ GPS to link students at the same school or in the same neighborhood, who are studying the same subject matter, increasing collaborations between students, and making new connections possible.

Since the Summer Intensive, John has continued to build his coding leadership skills. John joined the Young Hackers, a high school hackathon startup founded by 2014 Summer Intensive graduates. He was one of the lead organizers for Local Hack Day, a Young Hackers’ hackathon at General Assembly supported by All Star Code and he helped organize All Star Hacks, All Star Code’s first student-led hackathon focused on beginner coders. Impressively, John was a runner-up at Space Apps Next Gen hackathon, a two-day high school hackathon with more than 150 students in attendance. John worked with another All Star Code student during a hackathon at Brown University and the duo were finalists in the event. To round out his amazing year, John was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Yankees’ game and was featured in the Bronx Times and OneTechStop blog.

At school, John is enrolled in AP Computer Science and a member of the newly-founded FRC Robotics Team. He is also organizing his school's hackathon, HackMann, which will occur this spring. In his spare time, John is currently building a mobile app – Choc or Not – a candy-sorting game that he and his co-founders expect to be a viral hit! Since the program, he has completed internships at two startups focused on entrepreneurship and engineering.

As a senior, John recently committed to attend Boston College and intends to pursue a major in computer science. Before heading to Boston, he is giving back to the All Star Code program this summer as a teaching assistant. I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next!

CATEGORY: Education