The tech industry is facing twin challenges right now: Companies can’t find enough qualified engineers to fill vacancies, and those they can find tend overwhelmingly to be white and male. This program aims to solve both those problems — and is having a ton of success.
Felicia O'Garro: I worked in the financial services industry for over seven years and I was laid off.
Moawia Eldeeb: The main changing point in my life was when our house burned and then being completely homeless and having absolutely nothing. We worked every single day, but there was no security and then I didn't want to continue to be a pizza boy forever. I started college and then came Access Code.
Andrew Bennie: It's about the empowerment of being able to build something, to do something, to act on an idea without depending on any other circumstance.
Felicia O'Garro: I had come across an article about coding and the lack of female developers and decided that okay, this is something that I definitely want to pursue. I saw the information about the IOS course. I thought it was really cool. There was nothing in New York City like that, so and especially anything that I could really afford.
Frank Rivera: There wasn't a lot of opportunity for someone like my age who's not necessarily young college-age to then go into this and do this IOS development. That's what's great about this.
Moawia Eldeeb: They just try to teach everything that goes into an app, entrepreneurship, and also mentioned how, you know you will have a fully developed app by the time you're done and that's, you know, completely different. Every single course I've taken, it's over, you most likely forget about it and you really don't have anything to make you proud of that course and Access Code seemed to offer something different.
Andrew Bennie: So we're actually building a great IOS app, to test at colleges to help students eat for free on campus.
Moawia Eldeeb: After three years of Queens College, I was able to get into Columbia. Everything that's happened to me, you know the hard life, the good life, everything came from Queens and I see Queens as my family and you know, it's just my community.
Felicia O'Garro: I never imagined that I would have an app at an Apple Store. And I thought that was amazing. And so if I can continue to do things that help people and even just things that'll help change people's lives. That's what I want to do. Excuse me.