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Race & Demographics

The Road To Diversity In Tech: Code The Dream

Woman stands in front of the Code The Dream office.
Courtesy of Dan Rearick
Program Associate Reid Russom and Director of Programs Daisy Magnus-Aryitey prepare to usher in a new breed of coders to the tech world.

Part of the American dream includes a solid education with the promise of a lucrative job down the road. For students in North Carolina who are undocumented or recipients of DACA, that dream is elusive. These facts were part of the impetus for Code the Dream, a nonprofit organization that teaches immigrant and minority youth the art and science of coding.

Co-founder and executive director Dan Rearick noticed that some children from Latinx communities hit a wall after high school graduation. North Carolina laws prohibit undocumented residents from receiving in-state tuition, and they are also blocked from federal financial aid. Without higher education, many are faced with the prospect of low-wage jobs. Rearick joins host Frank Stasio to talk about the program.

He is joined by a few current and former participants: Andrea Hernandez Guzman is a software developer and mentor at Code the Dream. She is a DACA recipient who was not sure if traditional college made sense for her. Fernando Osorto took a gap year after high school to work construction and quickly realized that was not the life for him. He went through the program and now develops apps for Duke University. Irene Serrano spent her teenage years in a tiny room with her three brothers, mom, stepdad and other migrant farmworkers from across the country. Her training with Code the Dream prepared her to work on an app to help migrant farmworkers and their families. She shares what it has been like to come full circle.

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