All Star Code, founded by Christiana Lewis, a nonprofit computer science organization that provides young Black and Brown men with economic opportunities and education in the tech industry, held its All Star Code Scholar Benefit last Saturday.
The vision of the organization is to reach 100,000 students in the next 10 years. Approximately $370,000 was raised at the benefit to fund All Star Code's educational programs.
At the virtual event, speakers included ASC Founder and award-winning journalist Christina Lewis, Co-Chair Loida Nicolas Lewis (wife of the late Reginald Lewis, the first Black Billionaire), Executive Director Danny Rojas, and the 12 selected Scholars.
Two of the Scholars shared personal stories about their journeys and how impactful ASC has been in their lives.
"I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for All Star Code. Going to school in predominantly white classrooms, it's great to finally be able to work alongside people who look like me," said Herbert Toler III of KiNECT, an app he co-founded with Justin Burell.
Advaith Hari of Sign It!, an app that translates American Sign Language into text by signing a letter in front of the user’s webcam, placed first place, with a cash prize of $2,500. Second place, with a cash prize of $1,000, went to Khalid Stewart of Frizzle, an app that helps people of color find the right hair products to treat their natural curly-coily hair texture.
On the benefits success and the future of ASC, Christiana Lewis said, “My aim is for All Star Code to be an organization that gives young, intelligent, driven men of color access to this exciting and dynamic field rooted in black excellence,” she wrote in a letter on the ACS website. “With the right skills and support system behind them, and just knowing that their success is possible, there is no limit to what our young men can do—my father proved it. This organization will continue to be a legacy of The Lewis family. Now we need more people of color making it real.”
For more information on All Star Code, check out www.allstarcode.org/