Introducing StreetCode LIVE
COVID 19 changed the climate for everyone, and awakened new challges for us all. Our response to these challenges birthed a collective team vision called StreetCode LIVE.
StreetCode LIVE is our collective suite of exclusive online tech classes, including Zoom course sessions, Instagram Live discussions, and a variety of additional free resources for our community including wifi, computers, and IT support. Throughout our roll out of StreetCode Live, we provided 73 MacBooks to our community members, enabling them to take our online classes. Additionally we helped to equipped students in need of a suitable internet connection by working with local providers who offer services at reduced rates. We also offered 8 classes via Zoom, each including online office hours for students to meet with instructors for additional help. In total, we had 217 enrollments, all of which were lead by our 27 AMAZING volunteer mentors this Spring. For their service, kindness and hard work, we will forever be grateful - SALUTE! This quarter, we also rolled out our StreetCode Unlimited series via Instagram Live. Every Monday, we hosted a discussion with guest speakers to offer their insights, intellect and advice on how technology has impacted their professional journey. Our first guest speaker, Shaka Senghor, a criminal justice activist and motivational speaker who has been various outlets like Oprah's OWN network, the Breakfast Club, and others, discussed the importance of having a "winner’s mindset". “Winning is a mindset that starts from within,” Shaka stated, and seeing every challenge as an opportunity to learn means “if I learn, I haven’t lost.”
"Winning is a mindset that starts from within."
Like Shaka, many of our guests expressed the need for resilience, hard work, creativity, and life experiences - these are the factors that help to seed innovation. Over the seven weeks, we had the honor of hosting guests like Chris Cox, former CPO of Facebook, Demetric Sanders, the CEO of his own startup, Carol Regalbuto, a Sr. Battery Engineer at Sila Nanotechnologies, and Dr. Theresa Johnson, an Airbnb Product Manager, as well as our board chair. All of them expressed the powerful impact of mentorship, a dedicated desire to learn, and the importance of building your own network of supporters. Carol encouraged our viewers to reach out and find people in respective their fields via Instagram andFacebook groups. She also challenged us to ask questions to those who work in fields that they aspire to be a part of. Building your supportive internal network/team is just as important as building your professional team. In the discussion between Jori Tytus, a product engineer and designer and Enrique Allen, the cofounder and general partner of Designer Fund, the need to have diverse teams became the topic of discussion. Enrique claims that "if you don't have people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, or ethnic backgrounds, they're not going to make products and services that are relevant for the majority of people." Creating teams that are diverse on a variety of level allows to ultimately innovate at a higher level.
During Week 5, we hosted Lecrae, a Grammy-award winning artist and philanthropist, who stated the importance of understanding technology and learning the building blocks of it. "Technology is the backdrop to everything, there's nothing that technology doesn't touch."
"Technology is the backdrop to everything..."
As a music artist, Lecrae found it vital to have a basic knowledge of entrepreneurial concepts, marketing strategy, and even coding(which he took in college) in order to put his best foot forward in all of his endeavors. This repertoire of knowledge, library of experiences, and the curation of a supportive network is that which gives us access to unlocking full of limitless possibilities. StreetCode Unlimited was created to offer enlightenment on the power of what technology can do for individuals, our communities, and ultimately the world. We were beyond excited and surprised by the support of those who tuned in week after week. Our hope has always been that Unlimited would ultimately help to build your mindset, create a hunger for furthering your skills, and open up the access to the various networks that are needed for you to change your future. We hope that Unlimited has inspired to dream, and as one of our guest speakers, Jori Tytus put it, "never stop dreaming big."