While your memories of summer camp might include cabins and cobwebs, today’s tech-savvy teens are getting a different type of web experience at computer coding camp.
This summer Ally provided grants to local Boys & Girls Clubs in Charlotte and Detroit to support the “Code to Success” program, a computer training course designed to teach underserved high school students the basics of computer programing. The six-week course taught 21 students to write code for websites and apps while furthering their interest in information technology and giving them a foundation for relevant, real-world job skills.
“The program was a fun experience! I learned a lot about coding and enjoyed the campers a lot as well,” said David Tillman, a junior at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, NC.
Contributions to “Code to Success” are part of Ally’s larger focus on economic mobility, and efforts to help provide access to the vital services, education, and resources that can improve economic opportunities and enrich lives.
The camp culminated in a commencement ceremony to recognize the hard work of the participating students and encourage them to further develop their skills. Teachers and volunteers emphasized that building skills like coding could lead to employment opportunities in the future.
“Programs like this help prepare kids who might not otherwise have the resources or support for the tech jobs of the future,” said Jack Howard, senior director, Corporate Citizenship. “Exposure to career opportunities can help improve intergenerational poverty — with resources and support, they are more likely to pursue educational opportunities, gain employment, and move out of poverty.”
The Importance of “Lifting As You Climb”
Ally’s mission to advance economic mobility through programs like “Code to Success” is an important part of its culture, and a strong passion point for team members like Demetrius Scott, who helped to bring the coding camp to Charlotte and Detroit this year. As a youth, Demetrius was a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan where he fondly remembers playing with friends at the Romulus Club and also getting lessons on resume writing, networking, and filling out scholarship applications.
Demetrius is now a manager on Ally’s corporate citizenship team and says the skills he learned at the Club helped pave a pathway for his career success. By helping to put on programs like “Code to Success,” he’s giving today’s youth a similar helping hand.
“I’m a big proponent of lifting as you climb,” says Demetrius. “As a product of Boys & Girls Clubs, it’s amazing to be able to come back to the Clubs and help,” Demetrius says.
Ally plans to extend the “Code to Success” program next year, with the goal of reaching more children.
The “Code to Success” program has taught more than 1,200 students to code since it was launched in 2016 by Success in Education, a foundation created by the GARFF Automotive Group. Ally has close ties with both organizations and has been supporting the program since its launch.
Learn more about how Ally is making a difference.