Here at Touch Lab, we've hired some of our best developers straight out of college. Experience comes with time, but we value passion for great code and a willingness to learn. Our own Founder/President Kevin started coding at age 7, so it's never too early to start. This is why Izzy, one of our talented developers, had a great experience working with young coders at the Black Girls Code's Hackathon last month.
Izzy and Kelani Nichole, co-founder of TRANSFER, mentored Jada, Aniyah, Olivia, and Quinn. Izzy and Kelani wanted the girls to learn about positive relationships to go along with the hackathon's theme, "Love is Respect." They focused on building self-esteem and the most important relationship for the girls: the one they have with themselves. They kicked off their two day hackathon with brainstorming on post-its and building paper mockups. After creating wireframes and building a cross-platform mobile app, the girls practiced their pitch for presentation day. The practice paid off when they received a standing ovation and placed first! Each team member won a $1,500 scholarship; they also received a $2,500 Verizon Hopeline grant to donate to a non-profit. The team is now in the running for the national competition with other Black Girls Code chapters.
Proud mentor Izzy received thank you emails from the happy winners, and plans on staying in touch to help as much as possible. Her favorite memory was seeing the girls' faces when they found out they won. “I love the idea of Black Girls Code and would mentor again. It's a positive outlet for black girls and it was so awesome to see other people like me. One person even drove out from D.C. so his sister could participate!”