Local organization works to close coding gap
QUEENS, NY (August 1, 2018) – Briana Rodriguez, an eleventh-grader at student at Newtown High School, didn’t head for the beach when the last bell of her tenth grade year rang. Instead, she enrolled in a summer coding class.
“I want to learn how to build websites and my school doesn’t offer anything like that,” she said. “So, while my friends are on vacation, I’m learning how to code.”
The six-week class, offered by Queens Community House, takes place 20 hours a week and is a component of DYCD’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Rodriguez and her classmates are learning coding basics and how to build their own websites.
“The time is now to get young people, especially girls, interested in computer sciences,” says Gabriel Yiu, who teaches the class. “Over the next ten years, there are going to be so many more jobs in the field, and not nearly enough qualified graduates to fill them.”
The class, which is aimed at 14 and 15 year olds, allows students to explore computer sciences at an early age. Despite the growing demand in the field, it’s still not offered widely in schools. Further, according to Girls Who Code, by 2027, less than 25% of women will be represented in computer science fields.
“I’ve always known I wanted to build websites when I grow up,” Rodriguez said. “We had a coding club at school, but it ended when all the seniors graduated. Now that I know how to code, I’m going to try and start it up again.”
Queens Community House provides 1,300 SYEP participants between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid employment throughout the summer. Participants work in a variety of entry-level jobs at government agencies, non-profit organizations, hospitals, summer camps, law firms, and retail businesses, and are offered job readiness, career exploration, and financial literacy workshops.
About Queens Community House: Founded in 1975, Queens Community House, is a multi-site nonprofit organization that offers a wide network of comprehensive services to individuals, families, and communities throughout Queens. From 32 sites in 14 neighborhoods, QCH helps thousands of Queens residents to thrive in school, make healthy life choices, succeed in educating themselves, become engaged citizens, stabilize their housing situations, and make the most of their senior years. Learn more at www.qchnyc.org.
Jennifer Weil, Communications
Queens Community House
108-25 62nd Drive, Forest Hills, NY 11375
Office: (718) 592-5757