This little nondescript orange-and-blue building? It might just hold the next tech pioneers.
Programmer. Graphic designer. App developer. These are the jobs of the next generation.
But children in underserved schools across the country won't get these tech skills. At least, not unless we make some changes — fast.
Enter Camp Interactive, which has a mission: to inspire the next generation of technology leaders from underserved communities.
The camp — which operates out of a New York City building that looks more like a bodega than a school — creates leaders like like Sam, a 15-year-old whose team helped design an app for kids to take the safest path through their neighborhood. Basically, they saw a problem, and his team helped create a solution that used programming and tech skills.
They weren't just learning; they were doing it in real time.
It's the kind of innovative approach to learning we need in a time of school budget shortfalls and fewer resources for schools around the country.
When 16 million American kids live in poverty, and half of them will not make it out of that cycle, and at the same time, only about 1 in 10 U.S. high schools offers computer programming courses ... well, there's a problem just screaming for a solution.
Camp Interactive utilizes three "tracks" or programs to help with this:
1. Code/Interactive, where students attend after-school classes to learn programming skills and coding.
2. Camp/Interactive, where students get to attend a two- to 10-day camp at which they learn leadership skills, apply tech skills to solve problems, create business plans, and design prototypes.
3. Career/Interactive, which are summer camps where some of the top tech companies in the country hire these students for paid internships, and they receive hands-on experience and training that will help set them up for a future career.