Over 11 weeks in the Fall, we launched the Python Pioneers Program at the Overtown Youth Center with 15 students eager to learn more about web development and what it takes to launch a career in technology! In our program, we had students from Booker T. Washington, Miami Edison Senior High School, and Miami School of Arts – all of whom had a goal to go from having no programming experience to leaving with newfound knowledge and passion for Python programming and an Industry Certification in Python! The average Python Developer salary in the United States is $101,455 as of December 27, 2023 so these kids are on the right track!
For about 90% of the students, this was their first time learning to code so I kicked off the learning process by introducing them to the basics of programming, logic, and critical thinking exercises. This not only aided in grasping the underlying principles of programming but also highlighted the broader advantages of logical reasoning in a variety of applications! After the logic was firmly established, we then began our curriculum by learning to code through emojis in an amazing collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Through coding challenges embedded into our IT Specialist curriculum, class projects, as well as supplementary work through the Riders Robotics League Software, the students gradually developed a deep understanding of programming concepts. They learned to think critically, break down problems, and apply their knowledge to create innovative solutions.
This was their first time learning how to code, and that came with its sets of challenges. Sometimes it would get a little overwhelming or frustrating for them when code wouldn’t compile correctly, going through the processes of debugging, understanding error messages, or having the wrong indentation, but through their perseverance and desire to learn they overcame the challenges and gained confidence in their new abilities.
As a facilitator, I believe that the most rewarding thing is just being able to witness the progress and growth of students and their interest peaking!
As we came to an end, it was clear that their growth was not just limited the technical skills but their soft skills as well, learning how to communicate, participate, and navigate through challenges. After an intensive 11 weeks, the students were equipped to take the IT Specialist Python Exam. I’m very proud of the students who excelled in the program!
Python Pioneers was more than just weekly training sessions, it was the development and direct impact of the minds that will shape a better future, who are now fully equipped to navigate through the digital boom.
A very special thank you to the OYC team for entrusting us with brilliant minds and I’m excited to see the wonderful partnership blossom!
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