Bright Prospect Offers First Summer Coding Camp

Collaboration with TXT, funding from Edison International and facilities provided Cal Poly Pomona made it possible
Until the school year that is just starting, there was a dearth of opportunities for students to learn how to code in Pomona.
To provide an opportunity for students to learn a skill that is generally regarded as a new basic literacy skill of the 21st century, Bright Prospect, in collaboration with TXT, offered a free two-week summer coding camp in July.  TXT, otherwise known as Teens eXploring Technology, is a non-profit that has been working with young men of color in Central and South-Central Los Angeles for many years, teaching them to be leaders and community problem solvers through developing apps and websites.  Their constituents not only learn to code during a twelve-week summer program based at USC, but learn how to work as part of a team, how to divide a project into smaller goals, how to be reliable and accountable, and how to speak publicly and make presentations.  The young men are challenged to think about leadership, about their community and family, and about previously unseen possibilities for their future.  
The executive directors of Bright Prospect and TXT, Stephanie Campbell and Oscar Menjivar respectively, met as participants in a non-profit leadership workshop in 2012.  This connection made four years ago resulted in this valuable collaboration.   Oscar is a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus who has long been desirous of bringing his program to Pomona. 
Bright Prospect was fortunate to finally be able to bring the TXT LEAD-CS (Leadership and Computer Science) program to Pomona this summer, to provide a condensed 2-week version of their program for up to 20 male and female Bright Prospect students, thanks to a generous grant from Edison International.  The program was conducted at Cal Poly Pomona, which provided use of a computer lab at no charge.  Participants formally presented the websites they designed at a “Demo Day”, and got to tour Yahoo headquarters in Playa Vista, where a dozen software engineers and designers took the time to converse and have lunch with camp participants. Both organizations hope this will be the first step toward bringing the amazing TXT program into Pomona in a more ongoing manner. 
We are pleased to report that this fall, AP Computer Science Principles is being taught for the first time at Fremont, Garey, Ganesha, Pomona, Diamond Ranch and Village Academy High Schools – all Pomona schools served by Bright Prospect.  Computer science is also being offered at the middle school level, through a partnership Pomona Unified School District has with Harvey Mudd College; it is called MyCS - Middle Years Computer Science.  Bright Prospect is proud to be a member of a community of partners that is making great strides in improving the life prospects for the next generation of residents.

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