Latest News


10/20/19

Code Your Dreams and MongoDB partner to teach database basics to high school students

We're excited to showcase our partnership with MongoDB as part of our Application Development curriculum. We’ve partnered with the trusted database experts at MongoDB to teach database basics to high school students. MongoDB is known as the most popular database for modern apps.
Code Your Dreams Founder and Executive Director, Brianne Caplan, gave a lightning talk at PyCon about the challenges and opportunities in computer science education. At the end of the talk, Brianne asked the audience, “What can you do to help?” Lauren Schaefer, Developer Advocate at MongoDB, heard this question and determined that she could make a difference. From there, the MongoDB and Code Your Dreams teams collaborated in the spirit of increasing student access to Computer Science education. As part of this partnership, the MongoDB team created outstanding curriculum content for the database module of the Code Your Dreams curriculum. During the course of the Code Your Dreams curriculum, students build community-focused applications from ideation to delivery. Whatever the application may be, from a peer-to-peer therapy app to an efficient community garden watering system, a database is a core piece of each student’s product.

We invite you to read more from MongoDB: https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/mongodb-partners-with-code-your-dreams-to-teach-database-basics-to-high-school-students.


9/8/19

A Great Success!: Code Your Dreams says goodbye to University of Chicago summer interns

interns

What a summer it has been! We are sad to say goodbye to our fantastic interns, but we are so excited to share some highlights from this summer. At Code Your Dreams, we emphasize values of empathy, collaboration and courage. Our team is dedicated to possessing these values, as well as having community-oriented, problem-solving mindsets. Abbey, Kerry and Kiana, our interns from the University of Chicago, extraordinarily represented these core values. Their dedicated hard-work, persistence and curiosity wow’ed our team. They genuinely cared about our mission and for applying their computer science talent to the “tech for social good” space. It is so important to have rising computer scientists like them that care about using their skills to advocate for our communities. Throughout the internship program, Abbey, Kerry and Kiana created several iterations of curriculum content and even built sample community-focused applications that Code Your Dreams students can reference as example pieces. During the last day of the internship, we took a special trip to the Chicago Public Schools office and attended their monthly Board Meeting. We heard from teachers, students, parents, policy makers and community members. Abbey, Kerry and Kiana were engaged and excited about learning about different policies and issues from the community. While the internship is over, we are thrilled to stay in touch with Kiana, Abbey and Kerry. We are excited to watch the tremendous impact that they will have on our world.


8/24/19

Code Your Dreams Intern Spotlight: Kiana Hobbs

kiana

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am rising third year at the University of Chicago pursuing a major in Computer Science with a minor in either Media Arts and Design or Inequality, Social Problems, and Change. On my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, playing board games, and attending Zumba classes. I am considering a career as an app or web developer, but I am still in the process of exploring the technical field.

What is your major/intended major?
Computer Science

What are some things you learned over the course of your internship?
From interning with Code Your Dreams my technical skills have expanded tremendously. I have developed proficiencies in Python, HTML5, Flask, and Jupyterlab. Additionally, I have learned more about web development, UX design, and caught glimpse of the early life of a non-profit.

Why did you choose Code Your Dreams?
I chose Code Your Dreams because the organization merges tech with social impact in such an amazing way, and that merger is something I want to pursue throughout my career. Moreover, it seemed to be a great introduction to tech, especially since I had only recently decided to pursue a technical career.

What was your favorite part of this internship?
Learning about the Flask framework and having the opportunity to apply that knowledge through creating lessons.

What were your responsibilities while interning at Code Your Dreams?
Developing part of the curriculum for the academic year programming.

What do you like to do when you’re not interning at Code Your Dreams?
Create jewelry and binge watch Netflix and Hulu.

Where did you grow up?
On the westside of Chicago in the North Lawndale community.

What is the last book you’ve read?
Kindred by Octavia Butler

What was your favorite subject in high school?
Everything math, except for geometry.

Where do you see yourself after graduation?
In a technical position that allows me to integrate coding and creativity.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
The ability to pause time.

Who would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?
Alicia Keys


8/20/19

Code Your Dreams Intern Spotlight: Kerry O’Malley

kerry

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am a rising 2nd year at the University of Chicago! I am on the women’s lacrosse team there as well as a member of Women in Business.

What is your major/intended major?
Computer Science

What was your favorite part of this internship?

The abundance of things I have been able to learn, as well as the impact I know what we are doing will have!

What were your responsibilities while interning at Code Your Dreams?

Developing curriculum on a variety of the necessary tools that you need to develop a web application

What are some things you learned over the course of your internship?
I have learned how to code in Python, as well as use HTML and CSS to develop websites, and Flask to make those two come together to make a functioning website

Why did you choose Code Your Dreams?

It seemed like a very impactful internship that is in a field that is of major interest to me, where I would not only get to learn but also teach other people.

What do you like to do when you’re not interning at Code Your Dreams?

Outside of Code Your Dreams, I tend to practice lacrosse, spend time with family and friends, go to the movies, and read!

Where did you grow up?

Elmhurst, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago

What is the last book you’ve read?
IT by Stephen King

What was your favorite subject in high school?
Tie between Math and Computer Science

Where do you see yourself after graduation?
Hopefully working as a Software Engineer

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Super speed

Who would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?
Michelle Obama


8/20/19

Code Your Dreams Intern Spotlight: Abbey Pouba

abbey

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m 19, and I have grown up in the Chicago Suburbs my whole life. I am on the Women’s Lacrosse team at the University of Chicago, and am going into my second year at the College. I like being active, as well as an active foodie around the city! (My favorite food being sushi)

What is your major/intended major?
I am currently very interested in computer science with a possible minor in Media Art and Design.

What was your favorite part of this internship?
I really enjoyed the freedom of creativity given, whether that be with finding gifs to add to lesson plans or designing an example app from scratch!

What were your responsibilities while interning at Code Your Dreams?
I would create lesson plans on Jupyter Notebook to teach kids python, and eventually guide them through building their own applications. Sometimes I would research multiple ways to teach something, or create a visual example through another coding platform such as atom, and incorporate that in through pictures or copied code once tested.

What are some things you learned over the course of your internship?
I learned Python, more html and css skills, bootstrap, flask!, MongoDB, socketio, and a few other add ons. Besides the technical things, I learned how to create a web application from scratch and how to format it, etc, I also learned Jupyter Notebook and what goes into lesson planning as well as researching multiple different ways to teach something. I can now connect different files and templates a lot smoother as well as consider design aspects that might effect user interactions.

Why did you choose Code Your Dreams?
I really appreciated the social aspect this company holds in communities I have lived so close to my whole life. I also think Code Your Dreams put a lot more responsibility on kids that they would love to handle and it keeps every generation connected with the most creativity. Expanding the computer science community into places less fortunate as well as the younger people is important to stop the idea that coding and such is very hard and complicated. Not only does this way to learning fit well with some kids that need hands on attention, but it also opens doors for anyone who wants them.

What do you like to do when you’re not interning at Code Your Dreams?
I have tried to explore the city a lot this summer, and definitely go to the beach or just hang with friends near a bonfire. I am currently trying to teach myself guitar and have learned a few songs!
I like to read as well as watch Netflix, but also go on adventures like hiking, cliff jumping, or surfing.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up around the west suburbs of Chicago, mostly Western Springs.

What is the last book you’ve read?
The last book I read was The Fault in Our Stars because that is almost a classic.

What was your favorite subject in high school?
I think I liked physics the most because it just made sense to me when it applied to such visible things in the real world.

Where do you see yourself after graduation?
I would love to go abroad or to another big city to get a broader world perspective as well as probably learn and see different design types. I hope to do something visual, and most likely computer faceted.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Shapeshifting! It combines a lot of other powers into one.

Who would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?
I would love to have dinner with Lady Gaga because I think she is an awesome icon, and she seems very honest and powerful.

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