A Stanford senior studying computer science, Rafael Cosman, decided to put his education to what he considers a worthy cause: teaching East Palo Alto students how to code.
The project started last summer with CodeCamp, a four-week intensive curriculum where East Palo Alto youth gathered to learn coding and other technical skills and participated in a hackathon where they each built a website or online features to improve society in some way.
“Our goal is to take East Palo Alto and Silicon Valley and plug them together,” Cosman said. “We want there to be startups coming out of East Palo Alto.”
As impactful as CodeCamp was, Cosman and his classmate, friend and partner in this endeavor, Shadi Barhoumi, decided they needed to invest more time to create real change. Using their contacts in East Palo Alto, they have created a new educational coding experience: StreetCode Academy, which launched this past November.
“What we realized from CodeCamp is that it’s not enough to have a coding summer camp or a coding class. None of those things by themselves are enough. What you need is an ecosystem,” Cosman said.