By Flora Gonska:
Code is all around us! It's how you're seeing words on your screen right now, it's how you pay with a card, it's what unlocks your phone and likely keeps your car or public transportation running (if it was made this century). But how much do you actually know about coding? Can you name any of the languages commonly used? Do you know about algorithms and AI? Complex computing that was left to experts a generation ago is now taught to kids and teens, and with good reason! There is no future where humans continue to progress but leave coding or other STEM (that is Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) behind. Code For Tomorrow is an organization connecting young people with mentors in STEM fields. Read on below!
FG: Tell us all about you and your organization!
Code For Tomorrow (C4T) is a Silicon Valley-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with an international impact! C4T’s aim is to provide a bridge that connects students worldwide to their future career by linking professionals and executives to mentor students and provide a dynamic, driven team of high school and college students to break down complex topics, from the humanities to STEM, using an engaging project-based curriculum approach.
We started as a small team of high school volunteers in the Bay Area and have since expanded to 50+ team members in just a few months from the East Coast to Japan! For the past few years, C4T has created summer workshops to teach 1,000 kids (and counting!) how to code in Java, Python, HTML/CSS, and Scratch.
During these difficult times of a global pandemic, with so many students out of school, it is more important than ever to supplement distance learning with enriching and engaging live online sessions. This summer, our team organized around 50 online classes that reached over 200 students! Among other endeavors, we’re also collaborating with The Amal Foundation to extend the impact of our in-depth curriculum and driven team to under-resourced girls in Lebanon.
FG: Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard?
Our generation is going to be the future’s politicians, scientists, innovators, artists, and change-makers. Gen Z has proven time and again that we are a force to be reckoned with and that we won’t sit idly by while injustices are being committed. Because of that, it’s important that we have a space like The Gen Z Collective to tell our stories and promote our movements.
FG: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way our daily lives work and many of us feel worried about the future, we’re optimistic that with the right tools and knowledge, our generation will rise above today’s challenges to become tomorrow’s leaders. FG: What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future?
We believe that a majority of the world’s problems can be traced back to a lack of education. Climate change legislation fails to pass because people don’t believe scientists. COVID-19 is exacerbated due to people dismissing health officials’ recommendations. Voters can be misinformed by social media and turn to hate groups instead of credible sources. We need to make sure that high-quality education is accessible to all so that the next generation is equipped with the knowledge and tools to succeed.
FG: What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place?
Code 4 Tomorrow recognizes that for many around the globe, access to a STEM education is locked behind paywalls. That’s why we provide coding classes free of charge for anyone who signs up for our courses. It’s our goal to provide high-quality resources to all students—no matter their socioeconomic status, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, location, or other factor. Even if our students go on to participate in non-STEM fields, what they learn in our classes will help them solve problems for the rest of their lives. And the ripple effect isn’t just limited to students. Whether someone joins the C4T family as a student, parent, teacher, or mentor, they all benefit from the shared sense of community and the skills learned when participating in or coordinating our programs. FG: Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects, and endeavors.
We’re also currently in the development stages for COCO (Corporate Connect), which will connect youth interested in STEM careers to an array of tech companies in a conference-style event.
FG: Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms. ● Follow us on Instagram: @code4tomorrow ● Sign up to volunteer or receive our newsletter: linktr.ee/code4tomorrow ● Learn more about C4T: code4tomorrow.org ● Check out our code on GitHub: @code-for-tomorrow ● Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
FG: If there is anything else you would like to say, please do!
That’s all we’d like to say, thank you for this opportunity!
A Cleveland, OH, native, Flora Gonska is a non-binary trans woman from a big family. She's a writer, video producer/editor, and artist. An avid supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and equality movement, she has lived in Los Angeles for three years, and she's involved in and enjoys writing on politics, the LGBTQ+ community, and life in the U.S.