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Instructor Pierre DeBois (l-r), Pierce Hawthorne, Black Hawthorne, Kiam Peartree, Eric January, Richard Leverett of AT&T, and Jameel Shabazz

Coding program for teens gets $6,000 donation from AT&T

Contributed By:The 411 News

City Life Center and Blue1647 team up to increase access to technology and entrepreneurship

GARY, Ind – Thanks to a significant contribution from AT&T Aspire, 25 high school students in Gary have picked up coding skills that will help ensure their future success.

AT&T Indiana awarded $6,000 to the City Life Center and BLUE1647 to offer a 10-week coding program for low-income kids. Over the course of the program, they learned about Front End Web Development, HTML, CSS and JavaScript; they also interacted with mentors from the technology industry. The students concluded their lessons by presenting websites they designed from start to finish.

“It’s great to see all of these organizations working together to reduce the barriers to academic success and career growth,” said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “All students – regardless of age, gender or income – deserve the chance to make their biggest dreams a reality.”

The City Life Center’s vision is to strengthen the community through a state-of-the-art campus that provides an environment for residents to meet, learn, relax, get fit, serve, have fun and experience “community.” The center partnered with BLUE1647 – an entrepreneurship and technology innovation center that launched its first Hoosier outpost within the center’s campus earlier this year – to offer the coding program.

“This was our first foray into offering coding lessons, and we couldn’t be more pleased,” said City Life Center Executive Director Ken Barry. “With AT&T’s contribution, we’ve been able to help these students maximize their life’s potential.”

“We’re proud to be a part of something very special in Gary, and appreciate AT&T’s great support,” said BLUE1647 Founder Emile Cambry, Jr. “Our hope is that these students now have additional skills to realize their ideas for a better world.”

AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire drives innovation in education – through technology, social innovation and relationships – to ensure all students have the skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. Through the AT&T Aspire initiative, the company has already passed the $250 million mark in its plan to invest $350 million in education between 2008 and 2017.

“Education is the best investment we can make to ensure our new hires start day one with the skills they need,” said AT&T Indiana Director of External Affairs Richard Leverett, who visited the City Life Center to experience the students’ website presentations. “Through AT&T Aspire, we are promoting student success in school and beyond. It’s one more way we are using the power of our network to build a better tomorrow.”

Story Posted:11/07/2016

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