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USA today, ​May 13th

Code switch: Initiatives empower tech-minded minorities. Several programs across the country aim to bridge the color and class digital divide.

 

Silicon Prairie News, May 5th

 

Nancy Mwirotsi was inspired to make a difference for refugee families living in Iowa, so she created a free program that teaches middle and high schoolers how to code. 

April 2014, twenty-eight chattering first and second refugee kids and their family members entered the local church for the first official meeting of Pursuit of Innovation 515. No computers, no resources, and only a few volunteers.
 
Fast forward eight months and Pursuit of Innovation now has its own lab of donated computers. The kids have progressed from little computer knowledge outside of social media to coding in various languages. Pi515 has retained kids and grown a base of younger students applying for next year. The 9th through 12th grade afterschool program has facilitated individual college visits, improved grades, and received national attention.
 
 
WHAT WE DO:
 
At Pi 515, we are using coding to change life perspectives of refugee families and exposing kids from 7th to 12th grade to coding, by providing an after school class twice a month, Saturday 9-12. We teach them how to write code, and support them as they write computer code for an app or website that will help address community needs. In addition to supporting these students to make a difference in the community, we provide mentoring relationships, career and college explorations. We also provide transportation and food. We encourage parental involvement by educating parents. 
 
 

IN THE NEWS...

 ​DECEMBER 2014

DES MOINES REGISTER

THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE

 " I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think."-STEVE JOBS, THE LOST INTERVIEW

 

 The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings.

 

WHY CODING?

PROGRESS
YEAR 2014 
 
YOUTH REACHED: 30
CODE HOURS: 500+
SKILLS GAINED: 5
VOLUNTEER HOURS: 500+
IMPACT
BETTER GRADES
INTEREST IN HIGHER EDUCATION
IMPROVED ATTITUDES
CASE STUDY
ONE OF OUR STUDENTS HAD A BABY A WEEK AFTER SCHOOL OPENED. EVEN AFTER MISSING THREE WEEKS OF SCHOOL, SHE HAS 5 A'S AND 3 B'S. 
 
PLANS
YEAR 2015
 
  • APRIL 24TH GALA AND YOUTH INNOVATION SUMMIT
  • EXPAND OUR PROGRAM
  • LAUNCH A MULTI-LINGUAL WEBSITE THAT WILL LINK OUR PARENTS TO SERVICES,LOCAL JOBS, LOCAL NEWS AND BASIC CIVIL EDUCATION 
  • PAY STUDENTS TO TEACH PARENTS ESL COMPUTER BASIC SKILLS
  • START SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS 
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