What is Code the Dream?
Code the Dream recognizes that young people from minority and immigrant backgrounds have great ideas and will play a huge part in our 21st century economy. Already immigrants are more than twice as likely to start their own business, and those businesses create over 25% of new jobs.
Code the Dream seeks to answer the question – What if people with that drive knew how to code? Through an innovative program in Raleigh, Code the Dream teaches immigrants how to code and provides them with mentoring, support, and real-world opportunities to use their new skills to help their community, move on to higher education, and find new career paths.
In 2015, at the time Uniting NC applied for the Beehive Collective Large Grant to fund Code the Dream, the program had been operating for less than a year. Code the Dream was run by two staff and usually served a total of 12 students at any one time. While they saw promising results initially, it was on a small scale.
The Impact of Beehive Funds
A year later, thanks in large part to the Beehive funding, Code the Dream has almost doubled in size and more than doubled in impact – with a 75% larger budget, a staff of four, and an average of 40 students active in the program at any one time.
Throughout 2016, they were able to dramatically increase the opportunities for students to gain real-world experiences. – which in turn had a positive effect on the community. The Code the Dream team started up a software development shop – Code the Dream Labs, which is open to all advanced students. CTD Labs has formalized an opportunity for students to get real-world experience by creating space for them to get paid for working on projects for local nonprofits and small businesses. They are able to support themselves while continuing to gain invaluable experience. Apps created by CTD students include a ride-sharing app for recently homeless parents who need to get to doctor’s appointments or job interviews (basically free Uber for those who need it most); an app to assist low income students learning music; and an app to help migrant farmworkers find health and education services.
Since the program received Beehive funding, they have also tripled the number of students getting their first employment as software developers, a very meaningful step considering the median wage for Code the Dream students prior to joining the program was $8 / hour. Additionally, 7 students total have received scholarships for higher education in part through assistance received through the program.