Coding Corps Alumni Spotlight: Kelvin Lightner

Kelvin Lightner is a #YesWeCode Coding Corps 2017 alum. After attending the University of California, Berkeley and earning undergraduate degrees in legal studies and economics, Kelvin became a consultant at Deloitte. Once on this career path, however, he found that the business side of his work was not logically challenging enough, which prompted him to pursue an education in computer science. Since graduating from the Coding Corps program, Kelvin joined Intuit as a software engineer, focusing on front-end development within Quickbooks, where he has been coding for the past six months. 

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Coding Corps Alumni Spotlight: John Holman

John Holman is a graduate of #YesWeCode Coding Corps 2016 cohort. After earning his Associate's degree in business and beginning an internship at an EdTech company in the Bay Area, John found out about the world of programming and fell in love with coding. He decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in Computer Science, but because of high tuition costs, had to pause his education. Soon after, fortunately, John learned about #YesWeCode. After completing Dev Boot Camp and joining Intuit as an apprentice, he eventually signed on to the financial software company in January 2017 as a software engineer, where he's been coding ever since. 


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CNN Tech: AI is hurting people of color and the poor. Experts want to fix that

New technology brings great promise, and as many problems. Smartphones put access to infinite knowledge in our pockets, but led to the rise of tech addiction. The social media platforms that connected billions of people were turned against democracy.

And so it is with artificial intelligence, which could fundamentally change the world while contributing to greater racial bias and exclusion.

Much of the focus on any downsides of artificial intelligence has been on things like crashing self-driving cars and the rise of machines that kill. Or, as CNN commentator Van Jones put it at a discussion on the topic last week, "What about Terminator?"

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Fast Company: Van Jones: AI jobs are a route out of poverty for urban youth

Van Jones is posing for selfies with young fans after a conference last week in Mountain View, California, on artificial intelligence and employment opportunities. I’m supposed to interview him, once he can break away. But every time he tries, another earnest face turns to him, and he’s pulled back for one more photo.

Maybe best known as an analyst and host on CNN, the Oakland-based Jones says his primary job is being volunteer president of Dream Corps–a multifaceted organization promoting job opportunities for urban and minority youth, prison population reduction, and political dialogue. “Our job is to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity,” says Jones, always ready with a catchy turn of phrase–as well a “huh!” or guffaw for emphasis.

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Coding Corps Graduation Event Highlights

On Monday, December 11th Van Jones and the #YesWeCode family gathered to celebrate the success of our latest Coding Corps cohort. Our scholars have spent the past eight months, and over 800 individual hours, training to enter the tech field as software engineers.

#YesWeCode premiered a video centered around Coding Corps and Van Jones closed out the evening by delivering a moving speech to the scholars.  

(Van's full speech below!)

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Interview with Van Jones @ GE's "Minds + Machines"

Van Jones, CNN correspondent and founder of Dream Corps, explains how his company’s scholarship fund, #YesWeCode, is helping provide people from non-traditional backgrounds the opportunity to get computer science degrees and find jobs in the tech industry.

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Shaping the Workforce of the Future - Van Jones @ GE's "Minds + Machines"

Hear Van Jones, CNN correspondent and founder of Dream Corps, lead a discussion on how you can build employees' skills and promote diversity within your organization to help shape a positive outlook for the future of the company.

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Coding Corps Marin Scholar Spotlight: Cesar Castillo

Cesar Castillo is a scholar enrolled in #YesWeCode’s Coding Corp Marin program, a two-part program piloting a blended-learning model to make tech education accessible to all communities. A Bay Area native, soccer enthusiast/athlete and DACA-recipient, Cesar’s story demonstrates the opportunities tech can provide when barriers are knocked down.

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#YesWeCode at Essence Festival 2017

On June 29th, the #YesWeCode team arrived in New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, a 3-day music festival hosted by Essence Magazine which centers around the culture, style, and brilliance of black women. It is here, in 2014, where #YesWeCode got it’s start when Prince announced the launch of our organization in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder. It is also where our staff has returned year after year to maintain his legacy as a supporter of the black community by embracing their brilliance and potential to build a stronger support network.
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TechConnect at Urban League Conference Explores Intersection of Technology, Racial Justice and Social Change

NEW YORK (July 12, 2017) -- The question: How do emerging technologies influence racial justice and social change? The answer: National Urban League TechConnect.

Held over two days during the National Urban League Conference in St. Louis, July 27 and 28 and sponsored by Facebook, TechConnect will feature networking opportunities, and panel discussions from top executives in technology.                       

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