Fardowso Mohamed, a 10th grader is currently a student in Ileys' Intro to Programming course at Thomas Edison High School. She's been in this course since the beginning of the school year and currently working on finishing up her final project before summer break. When asked what she likes about the course, Fardowso states " I like that you're learning more than one topic at a time about coding and it's fast-paced and keeps you engaged. I was interested in computer science and wanted to learn more about it so I wanted to try out coding to see if I would like it or not, and now I would say that I love it."
As the class works on their final project of the year, they have learned the process of building their own site and Fardowso says that "these are the types of things you see on a daily basis, we all use the internet and come across many different websites and to being able to know how these were built is super cool." She mentions that coding is a useful skill to have for the future especially with the technological advances we see every year in the world. When asked about her overall experience in the class, she states, "It's been a good experience so far and I want to keep learning more about coding. I was a part of a coding class in 4th grade and to see it being offered while in high school made me want to come back to it and learn more. I like writing the code and seeing its outcome and once complete you feel accomplished with the results. I like to challenge myself with the types of codes I write to see the different possibilities I can create."
Fardowso would like to become a Cybersecurity engineer in the future, and she has already started preparing for her future career by getting a head start on acquiring the skills needed for this career path. Her advice to other students is, " if you're thinking about coding try it out because it's very helpful. The job market for IT is very broad and there are different roles you can take with coding skills and experience."
Roz Anderson is a Program Coordinator for the Beacons afterschool program at Thomas Edison High School. The Beacons afterschool program is currently active in many schools across Minneapolis. The program at Edison began their partnership with New Vision Foundation four years ago. Prior to the partnership with NVF, Roz mentions that there was a large student interest in coding/programming, but the school didn't have the capacity to lead this on its own. Once NVF joined the program and classes were made available to students, many student participants quickly joined to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Roz's role as a Program Coordinator includes visiting the programming classes to check in on students and make sure things are running smoothly. The coordinators also support the program by providing the space used and re-recruiting the students for the programming classes. "It's amazing to see how this class has provided opportunities for our students, some even went off and had IT internships during their summer breaks", says Roz.
Roz states, “Overall the partnership the program has with New Vision Foundation has been a positive and successful one. NVF has been super flexible with our ups and downs particularly in the school year, they provided consistent support. They've also provided an awesome space to work alongside other students and create curriculum that benefits them, and we can bring ideas to them from students and the instructors have been super good at bringing these ideas to life. Another thing that's made this so successful is that one of the strengths of the program is that the young people can see themselves in the staff - a reflection of their own ethnicity and gender. They think, someone who looks like me is in this field, which helps the connection between student, and teacher to be stronger and allows the students to envision their own future.”