Software engineers at many of the top technology companies, including Google, SpaceX and Amazon, are signing up to give free coding lessons to students whose families have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
Since the outbreak, more than 1,000 engineers have volunteered to teach, and students in 45 U.S. states and 30 countries have already received coding lessons.
Students can access lessons through The Coding School, a tech education nonprofit. All students in grades 4-12 with a parent who is either an essential worker or lost a job because of COVID-19 is eligible to receive a scholarship for one-on-one, personalized coding lessons from a live instructor.
To inspire students during this time, the organization is also offering a free web development coding course and rounds of Q&As with engineers in the aerospace, healthcare and tech, product design and quantum computing fields.
“We’re on a mission to ensure coding education is accessible and empowering for all students,” Kiera Peltz, founder of The Coding School, said in a news release. “Over the past three years, we’ve seen the power personalized coding education has in transforming students’ lives, and that’s why we want to make sure — especially now — students experiencing difficult times, have access to specialized coding instruction and mentorship.”
The instructors are a mix of professionals and students coming from more than 60 companies and 100 universities, including Stanford, MIT and Duke.
Students who take the one-on-one courses are matched with instructors with similar backgrounds. That way, they are serving not only as instructors but also mentors. Matching students with instructors from similar backgrounds also plays a big role in inspiring students to stick with programming and eventually make it a career.
More than 95 percent of students who participate in the program are more likely to go on to pursue a career that involves programming, according to The Coding School’s release. Students are able to learn at their own pace and focus on the fields that interest them, specifically.
“Feeling lost in his school’s coding class, my son was ready to give up,” Vladimir Manuel, a healthcare worker in Los Angeles, said in the release. “The one-on-one lessons really helped my son understand the material. Now he leaves every lesson with a smile on his face and is excited to continue learning to code.”
In the tech-driven world, there is high demand for computer programmers. Inspiring students, from a young age, to develop an interest in coding will not only propel them on a high-paying career path, but also help fill the workforce with much-needed employees.
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Jackson Schroeder is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Jackson has covered a wide range of topics, including sustainability, technology, sports, culture, travel, and music. He plays bass and guitar, and enjoys playing and listening to live music in his free time.