Business, Government Leaders Celebrate Student Coders in Baltimore

Business and government leaders in Maryland on July 28 celebrated with 60 student coders from Baltimore who completed the CodeWorks Program at the University of Baltimore.

Impact

La Tara Harris, regional director for AT&T External Affairs in Maryland joined Maryland Delegate Bilal Ali; Afra Vance White, director of External Affairs for Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh; Christine Ross, president & CEO for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce; Baltimore students; and the team from CodeWorks to see the students’ final projects and celebrate their successful completion of the program.

During the event, Harris discussed why AT&T contributed $25,000 to support Code In the School, Inc., which organized CodeWorks, again this year and talked to the students about why this program is so important.

“We support programs that will have a lasting impact on the young people in communities across Maryland. The skills you learned this summer are the same ones that companies like AT&T look for in new hires. The past five weeks helped lay a strong foundation for each of you. After high school and college, you’ll become the business, government and tech leaders in Baltimore - and the nation. We’re glad we could join you today to celebrate your success – and wish you good luck in all you do,” Harris said.

Harris said this contribution is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative to drive student success in school and beyond.

According to Gretchen LeGrand, executive director of Code In the Schools, Inc.: “CodeWorks is a 5-week coding boot camp for Baltimore City youth, created in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development YouthWorks summer jobs program and University of Baltimore. This summer, 60 participants, ages 15-20, were employed to learn relevant coding skills while earning a college credit. In addition, they received industry exposure and professional development.”

Code in the Schools board member and Maryland Delegate Bilal Ali continued: “Our youth deserve access to every opportunity to succeed in the tech-driven economy, and a highly skilled workforce means a strong future for our city. Code in the Schools is unique among Baltimore organizations for the programs it offers to help our students develop both the technology and soft skills to compete.”

Student Tianna Tolson, who first studied computer science at Western High School, says: “CodeWorks was a fun experience! I learned a lot and met lots of people that have helped me throughout the 5 weeks. I love how coding allows me to do many things, like program robots and make fun little games.”

Tianna showcased her original games made using Python at the student showcase.

“Learning this kind of skill at this age puts young people at an advantage for great careers when they graduate. Businesses like AT&T and our other members can’t wait to hire people who learn and build on the skills Code in the Schools has taught these students. It’s critical that we support programs and young people like these, because it builds the talent pipeline that leads straight from graduation to good jobs. Everybody wins,” said Christine Ross.

Learn more about Code in the Schools at https://www.codeintheschools.org/.

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