N.Y. Code + Design Academy Will Work With Celebrities And The Hip-Hop Community
To Bridge The Digital Divide To Empower Those In Poor Communities
With The Skills To Succeed In A New Global Economy
It’s hard to imagine living a normal life today without computers, the internet and smart phones, but the fact remains there are those who have little or no access to these technologies which are the “Holy Grail” of the 21st century. Although access is slowly increasing, computers in libraries and schools are not enough to arm our children with the tools for success. Studies show that students with access to computers and the Internet at home have higher self-esteem and a much better chance of achieving their academic and business goals. With access to computers they can connect with valuable resources and expand their critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. All of which are necessary to compete in an emerging digital job market. In some schools where technology investments has come to a crawl, teachers have to find innovative ways to integrate technology into the classroom just to give their students a fighting chance.
As we prepare young citizens to be competitive in a new global economy it is important that we provide them with the best resources and it all starts with Bridging the Digital Divide. Right now there are millions of jobs in manufacturing and technology waiting to be fulfilled, but America’s workforce lacks the skills and training to secure employment. When you enter the job market its not enough to know PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Excel and other basic software applications, you have to know how to code and design because that’s the new money for those looking to become financially independent without an advanced degree from college.
There are a few celebrities that understand the power of digital technology, computer literacy, the internet, coding and website desiging, but we have found a few and here is what they had to say: “Support tha American dream n make coding available to EVERYONE!!,” Snoop Dogg.
Rap Star Will.i.am says “Here we are, 2013, we ALL depend on technology to communicate, to bank, and none of us know how to read and write code. It’s important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.”
“Coding is very important when you think about the future, where everything is going. With more phones and tablets and computers being made, and more people having access to every thing and information being shared, I think it’s very important to be able to learn the language of coding and programming.” Ended Chris Bosh, star of the Miami Heat.
The “Skills Gap” is real because new divices are being introduced to the public every day. So if you are tying to be competive in a new global economy you have to upgrade your skills so you can pay the bills. Recently we caught up Jeremy Snepar, who caught our eye because of a commitment he made to the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council t
o use his company, skills and resources to Bridge the Digital Divide for those living in poor and disadvantaged communities. It’s not that often that we meet a company in this space that is ready to go the extra mile to arm the less fortunate, at-risk citizens and those under criminal justice supervision with a real opportunity to succeed in a new global economy.
Q–Where did you grow up and now reside?
A–I was born in Philly, raised in central Jersey and have lived in New York City for the last 14 years.
Q–Tell me about your school history and/or training in Digital Technology?
A–I studied economics at Cornell University. I was introduced to digital technology as an investment banker at MESA. We represented early stage startups that were either technology companies or technology-enabled companies. All our clients wanted to hire developers but couldn’t find any. So we started the New York Code + Design Academy to fill that gap.
Q–How did you and your partner meet?
A–My partner, Zach Feldman, was one of our first instructors.
Q–When and how did the New York Codding & Design Academy get started?
A–The New York Code + Design Academy launched its first class in September 2012. We had several students interested in learning so we found a classroom at a film school in SoHo and began teaching!
A–The Academy’s mission is to use hands-on, skills based classes to train a 21st century workforce. With software touching everything we do, it’s important to understand the languages that power the digital economy. We offer full time and part time programming courses for students of all ages and skill levels.
Q–How many sites do you have and what do they offer that is unique?
A–The New York Code + Design Academy currently teaches in New York City and Philadelphia. We are launching classes in Westchester, the Hamptons and Prague in the summer of 2015.
Q–What gives your school the cutting edge over the competition?
A–We are committed to the student experience and have the smallest class sizes and highest instructor hours per course of any of the coding schools.
Q–Let’s talk about what happens when students graduate?
A–Students from our full time Web Development Intensive are looking to land their first web developer role upon graduating from the program. The course is 12 weeks long, but we include an extra week – a Career Skills Week – where students participate in resume reviews, mock interviews and other job search preparation. The Career Skills Week culminates in our Employer Meet + Greet where companies looking to hire developers come to meet with our grads.
Q–What’s coming up in the future?
A–We expect to add more courses, open new locations and continue to encourage more people to learn to code.
Q–What are your plans to “Bridge the Digital Divide” and help those living in poor and disadvantaged communities?
A–Education is key to helping the poor and disadvantaged, however, a degree isn’t necessarily the answer. Companies like to hire employees with tangible skills and that’s what we teach. We are very proud of our diverse student body here at the New York Code + Design Academy and our ability to help those students – even those without college degrees – find awesome jobs as web developers.
Q–What words of wisdom do you have for young citizens looking to build a career in this digital space?
A–Learning to code is hard, but if you’re willing to commit yourself and can handle a little frustration during the learning process, anyone can learn to be a programmer.
Q–What artists and executives inspired you to take your dream to the next level?
A–I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurs who are relentless in their pursuit of their dreams despite significant challenges. I like to read about people like Steve Jobs, Ben Franklin, Jay-Z and Richard Branson.
Q–What are your goals in business and your personal life?
A–Professionally, my team and I are laser focused on building the New York Code + Design Academy into an education engine that will help train our 21st century workforce. Personally, I look forward to marrying my fiancée Nicole Alicino in February 2016.
Q–So we understand you will be working with the Hip-Hop Summit Youth Council on two very important initiatives; the “Hip-Hop Against Gun & Gang Violence” project and the “End Black on Black Crime Project (EBBCP).” Why are both of these undertakings important to you?
A–There is so much talented youth wasting their energy on violence and crime. If we can engage them and teach them a skill that will help them refocus their energy in a positive direction, we can affect a lot of change and give them tools to build better lives for their families and themselves. As a nation, it is important to find and nurture talent in new and interesting places. The Hip Hop community is stocked with talent; we need to harness it better.
Q–How can anyone get in touch with you?
A–We have an open door policy at the New York Code + Design Academy. Call the office or send us an email. Contact information can be found at www.nycda.com.
For more information on how we will be bridging the Digital Divide with the NYCDA hit us up at: RandyKFisher@gmail.com.
Posted by Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram @HHSYC).