codePHX Kick-Off Event | News Feed

codePHX Kick-Off Event | News Feed


[SHOW THEME MUSIC]>>GOOD AFTERNOON, AND WELCOME
TO THE MARYVALE COMMUNITY CENTER. MY NAME IS DANIEL VALENZUELA,
PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL MEMBER. EVERY JOB IN AMERICA IS A TECH
JOB IN SOME WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM. AS INDUSTRIES CONTINUE TO
EVOLVE, OUR WORKFORCE HAS TO CONTINUE TO EVOLVE, AND WE HAVE
TO SUPPORT K-12 EDUCATION, BUT WE CAN DO MORE. WE AS A COMMUNITY MUST CONTINUE
TO COME TOGETHER AND CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPOSE OUR
YOUTH, THE SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, AND EDUCATION NEEDED TO COMPETE
IN THE 21st CENTURY ECONOMY. TODAY, WE ARE LAUNCHING,
“CODE PHOENIX,” A PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE CITY OF
PHOENIX AND THE ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, WITH THE
SUPPORT OF THE PHOENIX I.D.A. THE VISION OF “CODE PHOENIX”
WILL OFFER TECHNOLOGY AND CODING CLASSES ACCESSIBLY, EQUITABLY,
AND FREE TO ALL OF PHOENIX’S YOUTH. BY OFFERING THESE CLASSES,
WE ARE BETTING ON OUR YOUTH. WE ARE INVESTING IN SOMETHING
THAT HAS THE POWER TO TRANSFORM THEIR LIVES, AND BRIDGE SOME
INEQUALITIES IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS. I AM INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL FOR ALL
OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN PART OF THIS PROGRAM, AS WE CONTINUE TO
LAUNCH, AND AS WE CONTINUE TO MAKE THIS PROGRAM EVEN MORE
ACCESSIBLE. I’D LIKE TO ASK A FEW PEOPLE TO
COME UP TO SAY A FEW WORDS. BEGINNING WITH INGER ERICKSON,
OUR PARKS DIRECTOR WITH THE CITY OF PHOENIX. SO PLEASE WELCOME
INGER ERICKSON.>>THANK YOU, COUNCILMAN
VALENZUELA. IT’S SO EXCITING TO BE HERE
TODAY. IT’S REALLY A GREAT OPPORTUNITY
THAT WE’RE HAVING TO KICK OFF THE “CODE PHOENIX” PROGRAM. THE CITY OF PHOENIX IS PROUD TO
PARTNER WITH THE PHOENIX I.D.A., ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION,
AND OTHERS TO MAKE “CODE PHOENIX” A REALITY, AND
AVAILABLE AND FREE TO CITIZENS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND KIDS
ACROSS THE CITY OF PHOENIX. BY COMBINING THESE FORCES FOR
THIS INITIATIVE, WE’RE REALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO LEVERAGE THE
CURRICULUM THAT THE LIBRARY — RITA HAMILTON AND HER STAFF —
HAVE CREATED OVER THE YEARS. WE’RE GOING TO BRING IT NOT ONLY
TO THE LIBRARIES, BUT TO THE COMMUNITY CENTERS. SO IT’S A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR
US TO EXPOSE YOUTH AROUND THE CITY TO THESE OPPORTUNITIES. I’D ALSO LIKE TO THANK SOME KEY
MEMBERS OF THE STAFF. I’VE ALREADY MENTIONED
RITA HAMILTON AND HER STAFF. IF YOU GUYS COULD JUST STAND UP
REAL QUICK AND BE RECOGNIZED, FROM THE LIBRARY AND ALSO THE
PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT? [APPLAUSE] GREAT JOB COMBINING FORCES,
WORKING TOGETHER, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE PROVIDING CONSISTENT
EDUCATION IN BOTH THE COMMUNITY CENTERS, AS WELL AS THE LIBRARY
FACILITIES. THE GRANT FUND THAT WE WILL
RECEIVE FROM THE PHOENIX I.D.A. AND THE ARIZONA COMMUNITY
FOUNDATION WILL HELP US BUY THE EQUIPMENT THAT WE NEED TO MAKE
SURE THAT WE HAVE COMPUTERS AVAILABLE, THE ROBOTICS, AND THE
VARIOUS REAL COOL, FUN THINGS THAT KIDS WANT TO USE TO LEARN
TO CODE. AS THE COUNCILMAN MENTIONED,
CODING IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ALMOST EVERY SINGLE JOB THAT’S
GOING TO BE THERE IN THE FUTURE. WE’RE BUILDING AND CREATING THE
FUTURE FOR THE KIDS. AGAIN, THE EXISTING CURRICULUM
THAT WAS ROBOTICS, CODING, AND 3D MODELING HAS BEEN ADAPTED
FROM THE LIBRARY’S CURRICULUM. THEY’VE HONED IT OVER THE LAST
THREE YEARS AT BURTON BARR, AND IT REALLY IS GOING TO BE A
FABULOUS CURRICULUM. MULTIPLE CLASSES WILL RUN IN
COMMUNITY CENTERS AND THE LIBRARIES YEAR-ROUND. ALL THROUGH THE YEAR, KIDS CAN
HAVE ACCESS TO THESE OPPORTUNITIES. SOME WILL BE DROP-IN, SO IF
REGISTERING FOR A PROGRAM ISN’T THE WAY TO GO, THEN YOU CAN DO
SOME DROP-IN CLASSES. WE HAVE THOSE KINDS OF
OPPORTUNITIES TO REALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY. THIS IS GOING TO BE IMPACTFUL TO
KIDS, ABOUT 500 EACH YEAR. THIS IS A THREE-YEAR PROGRAM,
JUST TO PILOT IT, AND THEN WE’RE HOPING TO CONTINUE IT ON THROUGH
OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTNER AND RECEIVE GRANTS AND DONATIONS
FROM OTHER FOLKS. BY THE THIRD YEAR, WE WILL HIT
1,500 YOUTH, DIFFERENT ONES, UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS, THAT WILL
THEN HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE ON TO SCHOOLS AND OTHER
OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW THEIR SKILLS. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO STOP BY ANY
OF THESE CODING CLASSES. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A
DEMONSTRATION A LITTLE BIT LATER, TOO, AND IT REALLY IS AN
EXCITING OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CITY OF PHOENIX, FOR OUR
PARTNERS, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE CODING
CLASSES TO OUR COMMUNITY. WITH THAT, I’LL BRING UP THE
COUNCILMAN TO INTRODUCE THE NEXT SPEAKER.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH, INGER, AND
IF YOU CAN JOIN ME IN WELCOMING OUR CITY MANAGER, ED ZUERCHER,
WHO IS HERE. AS WELL AS COUNCILWOMAN
DEBRA STARK WHO IS HERE. THANK YOU SO MUCH. THAT MEANS A LOT TO ALL OF US. WHEN WE FIRST STARTED THIS
PROGRAM, WE FIRST STARTED TALKING ABOUT THIS PROGRAM,
IT’S BEEN A WHILE. THIS IS A LONG TIME COMING FOR
US TO GET TO THIS POINT. THE FIRST BELIEVER, I GUESS,
YOU CAN SAY, THE ORGANIZATION OBVIOUSLY OUTSIDE OF SOME OF US
THAT HAVE BEEN KICKING IT AROUND. ACTUALLY, I WOULD SAY WITH US
KICKING IT AROUND, IS THE PHOENIX I.D.A. I WANT TO JUST WELCOME AND THANK
JUAN SALGADO FOR BELIEVING — AND LYDIA LEE, OF COURSE. LAST YEAR, THROUGH THE PHOENIX
I.D.A., A SUMMER YOUTH PILOT WAS FUNDED RIGHT OUT OF THIS
LOCATION HERE, FOR “CODE PHOENIX.” WANTED TO SEE WHAT TYPE OF
RESPONSE WE WOULD GET FROM OUR STUDENTS, FROM RIGHT HERE IN
MARYVALE, AT THE PALO VERDE LIBRARY. IT WAS EXCITING TO SEE. WE HAD SEVERAL STUDENTS COME
OUT. IT WAS WILDLY SUCCESSFUL. NEARLY 50/50 WITH MALE VERSUS
FEMALE RATIO. AS WE KNOW, THERE’S A GENDER GAP
WHEN IT COMES TO TECH JOBS, AND WE ARE OVERCOMING THAT HERE IN
THE CITY OF PHOENIX BECAUSE OF THIS PROGRAM AND PROGRAMS
LIKE THIS. THE PEOPLE WHO WERE TAKING
ADVANTAGE OF THESE CLASSES, THE STUDENTS THAT WERE TAKING
ADVANTAGE OF THESE CLASSES, THEY TRULY REFLECTED THE PEOPLE OF
THE CITY OF PHOENIX. FOR SO MANY REASONS, THIS IS
A GOOD PROGRAM. THE PHOENIX I.D.A. BELIEVED IN
IT THEN, AND CONTINUE TO MOVE US FORWARD. FOR THAT, I WANT TO THANK THE
ENTIRE BOARD. I WANT TO BRING UP MY FRIEND,
WHO IS CERTAINLY A CHAMPION FOR EDUCATION AND ONE OF THE BOARD
OF DIRECTORS FOR THE PHOENIX I.D.A., LAWRENCE ROBINSON.>>THANK YOU, COUNCILMAN
VALENZUELA. ON BEHALF OF THE PHOENIX I.D.A. WE COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED TO
JOIN YOU IN THIS ENDEAVOR TO EXPAND OPPORTUNITY FOR KIDS
HERE IN OUR CITY. MR. SALGADO, MISS LYDIA LEE, OUR
BOARD MEMBER DAVID LUJAN, BOARD MEMBER SAL RIVERA, ARE ALL HERE
TO JOIN IN A CELEBRATION. IT REALLY IS A TESTAMENT TO THE
CITY OF PHOENIX THAT WE’RE NOW PROVIDING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, FOR KIDS TO UNDERSTAND THEIR
OPPORTUNITIES AND THEIR POTENTIAL AHEAD OF THEM. ROOTED IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD AND
EVERY LIBRARY HERE IN THE CITY. THE $500,000 THAT THE I.D.A. PUT IN IS A LARGE INVESTMENT. IT’S VERY LARGE FOR OUR
ORGANIZATION, BUT THE POTENTIAL TO REALLY SEED CODING AND
INGENUITY AND ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITIES DOESN’T HAVE A
PRICE TAG. I’M THE BOARD MEMBER WHO IS ON A
LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD, AND THAT’S PROBABLY WHY I GOT CHOSEN TO
SPEAK TODAY ON BEHALF OF THE I.D.A. BUT REALLY, THIS PROJECT, “CODE
PHOENIX” IS A TESTAMENT TO THE FACT THAT NO MATTER IF YOU’RE IN
A PUBLIC SCHOOL, HAVE A KID OR NOT, WE SHOULD ALL BE INVESTING
IN THE NEXT GENERATION OF KIDS. THE NEXT GENERATION JOBS HERE
IN PHOENIX. ONLY 25% OF OUR ELEMENTARY
SCHOOLS HERE IN THE VALLEY ARE EQUIPPED TO ACTUALLY PROVIDE A
COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM. ONLY 16 OF THE 325 SCHOOLS EVEN
OFFER A FULL S.T.E.M. CURRICULUM. IF WE DON’T STEP UP THROUGH
PARTNERSHIPS, SUCH AS WHAT WE SEE TODAY, AND WHAT WE’RE SO
PROUD TO BE A PART OF AT THE PHOENIX I.D.A., THEN WE’RE NOT
GOING TO ACTUALLY HELP OUR CITY ENTER THAT NEXT GENERATION. WE’LL SEE WHAT COMES OUT OF IT. WE’LL SEE WHAT BUSINESSES
DEVELOP. WE’LL SEE WHAT LIVES ARE
CHANGED, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING WHAT CODING HAPPENS
HERE IN THE VALLEY. ALL THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY,
NOT JUST IN DOWNTOWN. HERE IN THE WEST SIDE AND THE
SOUTH SIDE, BECAUSE OF YOUR EFFORTS, COUNCILMAN VALENZUELA,
AND ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE PARTNERED TODAY. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>THANK YOU, LAWRENCE, AND
THANK YOU TO THE REST OF THE BOARD THAT IS ALSO HERE,
AND I WANT TO REITERATE LAWRENCE’S POINT. THIS IS NOT JUST A PROGRAM FOR
WEST PHOENIX. WE ARE VERY PROUD THAT WE ARE
HERE IN WEST PHOENIX TO LAUNCH IT. THIS PROGRAM IS A CITY-WIDE
EFFORT. AGAIN, THE VISION OF “CODE
PHOENIX” IS TO MAKE CODING AND OFFER OTHER TECHNOLOGY CLASSES
ACCESSIBLY, EQUITABLY, AND FREE TO ALL OF PHOENIX’S YOUTH. WE COULDN’T DO THAT WITHOUT OUR
PARTNERS, OBVIOUSLY, THE PHOENIX I.D.A. BEING ONE OF THEM. WE HAVE ANOTHER FOUNDING
PARTNER, A STRONG PARTNER, ANOTHER CERTAINLY A FRIEND AND A
LEADER OF EDUCATION. I WANT TO BRING UP FROM
STEVE SELEZNOW WITH THE ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. PLEASE WELCOME MR. SELEZNOW.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. I’M THRILLED TO BE HERE. WE’RE VERY EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO
FUND THIS, ALONG WITH OUR PARTNER IN PHILANTHROPY,
THE PHOENIX I.D.A. MANY OF YOU WOULD YOU SAY, “WHY
ON EARTH WOULD YOU SAY THAT ABOUT THE PHOENIX INDUSTRIAL
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY? THEY’RE NOT A PHILANTHROPY.”
WELL, I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU. YOU HAVE IN THIS CITY ONE OF THE
BEST AND MOST IMPORTANT PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS
THERE IS — OF COURSE, AFTER THE ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. THE MISSION OF THE I.D.A. IS NOT
ONE THAT’S NECESSARILY THOUGHT OF AS PHILANTHROPIC. WE AT THE ARIZONA COMMUNITY
FOUNDATION HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH THE
I.D.A. FOR CLOSE, GOING ON SEVEN YEARS. WHETHER IT’S LOW MARKET RATE
LOANS TO NON-PROFITS, WHERE WE PARTICIPATE TOGETHER, OR WHETHER
IT’S GRANTS WHERE WE PARTICIPATE TOGETHER. I CONSIDER THE PHOENIX I.D.A. A
GREAT PHILANTHROPIC PARTNER, AND A GREAT ORGANIZATION THAT TAKES
THE RESOURCES THEY’RE ABLE TO GENERATE BY THE SMART WAY THEY
GO ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS, AND REINVEST IT BACK INTO THE CITY. I THINK WE’RE ALL VERY FORTUNATE
THAT WE HAVE THAT KIND OF VISIONARY LEADERSHIP AT THE
I.D.A. BOARD LEVEL, AND AT THEIR LEADERSHIP LEVEL WITH JUAN
SALGADO AND LYDIA LEE AND THE WHOLE TEAM OVER THERE. WE’RE REALLY HONORED TO STAND
WITH THEM. WHEN JUAN CAME TO ME AND SAID
“I NEED YOU TO GET ME $250,000 TO SUPPORT THIS CODE PHOENIX,”
I SAID OKAY. THAT’S WHAT I USUALLY DO WHEN HE
SUGGESTS THAT. WE’RE NOT THE ONES WHO CREATE
THE IDEAS IN PHILANTHROPY. WHAT WE’RE REALLY GOOD AT IS
FINDING PEOPLE WITH GREAT IDEAS AND GETTING BEHIND THEM AND
GETTING THEM THE RESOURCES TO DO GREAT THINGS. YOU HEARD COUNCILMAN VALENZUELA
SAY THIS IS ABOUT EQUITY AND ACCESS, AND THIS IS ABOUT
ENSURING THAT EVERY CHILD IN THE CITY OF PHOENIX, WHEREVER THEY
LIVE, HAS ACCESS, AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN HOW TO
CODE. I JUST HEARD BEFORE I CAME UP
HERE THAT SOME PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY WOULD RATHER HAVE
GRADUATES OF PHOENIX UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT’S CODING ACADEMY
COME WORK FOR THEM, THAN GRADUATES OF ASU. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? WHY IS THAT? BECAUSE THEY ARE SO READY. THEY HAVEN’T MADE ANY MISTAKES
YET. THEY’RE REALLY TRAINABLE AND
THEY’RE REALLY CAPABLE, AND THEY THINK REALLY CREATIVELY. I THINK IF WE CAN CREATE A
PIPELINE THROUGH THIS PROGRAM AND LIBRARIES THROUGHOUT THE
CITY, MORE AND MORE KIDS CAN GO TO THE CODING ACADEMY THAT
PHOENIX UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS CREATED, AND THEN
MAYBE WE CAN CREATE MORE CODING ACADEMIES TO MEET THE DEMANDS
FROM STUDENTS. I’LL END WITH THIS STORY. I USED TO WORK FOR BILL GATES,
BEFORE I CAME HERE. YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS, BUT IN
HIS DAY, WHEN HE WAS A MIDDLE SCHOOLER, HE DIDN’T HAVE ACCESS
TO A CODING ACADEMY. SO YOU KNOW WHAT HE DID? HE’D SNEAK OUT OF THE HOUSE AT
NIGHT — THIS IS A TRUE STORY. HE’D RUN UP TO THE UNIVERSITY OF
WASHINGTON, AND HE WOULD BREAK INTO — THIS IS TRUE —
THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON COMPUTER SCIENCE CENTER. WHAT WOULD HE DO LATE INTO THE
NIGHT, AFTER HE SNUCK OUT OF THE WINDOW OF HIS HOUSE, HE’D GO
INTO THEIR COMPUTER ROOMS AND HE WOULD CODE. HE TAUGHT HIMSELF HOW TO CODE,
BEGINNING IN EIGHTH GRADE. LOOK WHAT HE’S DONE. THERE ARE PROBABLY A NUMBER OF
FUTURE BILL GATES RUNNING AROUND THE CITY OF PHOENIX. NOW THEY WON’T HAVE TO BREAK
INTO GRAND CANYON’S COMPUTER SCIENCE CENTER, OR TRY TO GET
DOWN TO ASU’S AND BREAK INTO THEIRS, OR EVEN BREAK INTO
CHAD’S CODING ACADEMY. THEY’LL BE ABLE TO COME TO THEIR
LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY, RIGHT IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY, AND LEARN
HOW TO CODE. THAT IS JUST A GREAT THING. WE’RE THRILLED TO SUPPORT THE
CITY, THE COUNCIL, COUNCILMAN VALENZUELA, THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
SYSTEM HERE IN PHOENIX, FOR HAVING THE VISION TO DO THIS AND
BE WILLING TO DO THIS. TO THE PHOENIX I.D.A. FOR THEIR
SUPPORT ALL THE WAY THROUGH. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, STEVE. HOW DO YOU NOT GET SOMETHING
DONE WITH STEVE SELEZNOW AND JUAN SALGADO IN THE SAME ROOM,
AND THEY’RE BOTH COMMITTED? AND OF COURSE WE HAVE OUR
LEADERS HERE, CITY STAFF. THIS PROGRAM, AS STEVE
MENTIONED, AT THE END OF — NOW, WE’RE STARTING WITH
13 LOCATIONS, BUT AT THE END OF THREE YEARS, WE’LL HAVE THIS
PROGRAM AT ALL 17 PUBLIC LIBRARIES, OUR MOBILE UNITS, AND
PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS, TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE ACCESSIBLE, AS WE
CONTINUE TO EVOLVE. WE’RE FORTUNATE TO HAVE ANOTHER
BUSINESS LEADER HERE WITH US TODAY. HE IS ALSO A FRIEND OF
EDUCATION, BUT ALSO THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF AN
ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS WITH ALL OF OUR MAJOR CORPORATIONS IN THE
CITY AND IN THE VALLEY, AND IN THE STATE. ALL OF WHICH HAVE A WORKFORCE
THAT CONTINUES TO EVOLVE. WE’RE HONORED TO HAVE NEIL
GIULIANO WITH US HERE TODAY, FROM GPL.>>THANK YOU, COUNCILMAN
VALENZUELA. I AM PLEASED TO BE HERE ON
BEHALF OF GREATER PHOENIX LEADERSHIP, WHICH IS THE
CONSORTIUM OF THE CEO-LEVEL LEADERS IN THE BUSINESS
COMMUNITY AND THE MAJOR FOUNDATIONS WITHIN ARIZONA. WHY WOULD I BE HERE? I WOULD BE HERE BECAUSE THE
YOUNG PEOPLE THAT WILL BE INVOLVED WITH “CODE PHOENIX”
WILL LIKELY ONE DAY BE EMPLOYED BY MANY OF THE ORGANIZATIONS
THAT ARE MEMBERS OF GPL. ABOUT 100 CEOS, REPRESENTING
ABOUT 300,000 EMPLOYEES IN THE METROPOLITAN PHOENIX AREA. FOR US, THIS IS ABOUT THE
RELATIONSHIPS THAT ARE BEING FORMED. IT’S ABOUT WORKFORCE
DEVELOPMENT. IT’S ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY. IT’S ABOUT THE MESSAGE THAT IS
UNDER “CODE PHOENIX” ON THE GREAT GRAPHIC —
“CREATE YOUR FUTURE.” BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY,
WHEN ALL THE FOLKS WHO ARE IN THEIR MANY JOBS ALL AROUND THIS
REGION, DOING IMPORTANT WORK, NO MATTER WHAT FIELD IT IS IN,
THEY’RE GOING HOME TO THEIR LOVED ONES AND THEIR FAMILIES,
AND THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT AND CREATING A FUTURE. SO THE WORK THAT’S BEING DONE
WITH SOMETHING LIKE “CODE PHOENIX” IS IMPORTANT ON THAT
BUSINESS LEVEL, OF COURSE. AND IT’S IMPORTANT ON
TECHNOLOGY, ON A TECHNOLOGICAL LEVEL. AND IT’S IMPORTANT ON ALL THOSE
LEVELS THAT WE HAVE IDENTIFIED, WHICH IS WHY THE FUNDING IS
COMING IN. BUT I WOULD ALSO ENCOURAGE YOU
TO REALIZE AND UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS ON A HUMAN
LEVEL. ON A HUMAN LEVEL, THAT PEOPLE
ARE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE THEIR FUTURE THROUGH A
PROGRAM LIKE THIS. IT REMINDS ME, WHEN I WAS
SITTING THERE, OF A GREAT LINE THAT SAID, “IF YOU WOULD SENSE
THE PAST, YOU WOULD TOUCH A STONE. IF YOU WOULD CAPTURE THE MOMENT,
YOU WOULD TOUCH A ROSE. BUT IF YOU WANT TO GLIMPSE THE
FUTURE ETERNAL, YOU TOUCH A LIFE.” SO THROUGH ALL THE ACTIVITY
THAT’S GOING TO BE TAKING IN “CODE PHOENIX,” YOU’RE REALLY
TOUCHING LIVES AND HELPING THEM CREATE THEIR FUTURES. AND I KNOW THE CEO LEADERS IN
THIS REGION ARE COUNTING ON THAT TO HAPPEN, NEED THAT TO HAPPEN,
AND WE WILL BE PARTNERS WITH YOU IN MAKING THAT HAPPEN. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME HERE
TODAY. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU FOR
MOVING THIS FORWARD.>>THANKS, NEIL, THAT MEANS
A LOT. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT. STEVE MENTIONED HIS NAME
EARLIER. WE HAVE DR. CHAD GESTSON
WITH US. HE’S THE SUPERINTENDENT OF
PHOENIX UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT. IT IS THE LARGEST SCHOOL
DISTRICT THAT WE HAVE IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA, THE MOST
DIVERSE DISTRICT IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA. THERE’S BEEN SOME GREAT THINGS
HAPPENING IN THE DISTRICT UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP. AND OF COURSE, THE BOARD,
PHOENIX UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTUALLY HAS A
BIOSCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL, AMONG OTHER SPECIALTY SCHOOLS, AND
JUST RECENTLY OPENED THE PHOENIX CODING ACADEMY, WHICH IS, AGAIN,
VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL. IT’S THROUGH THIS MAN’S VISION,
SO PLEASE WELCOME DR. CHAD GESTSON.>>GOOD AFTERNOON. WE ARE EXCITED TO BE HERE AND BE
A PART OF THIS FANTASTIC ENDEAVOR. PHOENIX UNION HIGH SCHOOL
DISTRICT TODAY IS UP TO 20 SCHOOLS IN OUR PORTFOLIO. YOU MENTIONED BIOSCIENCE HIGH
SCHOOL, WHICH RECENTLY WAS ANNOUNCED AS THE TOP-PERFORMING
TITLE I SCHOOL IN THE ENTIRE STATE OF ARIZONA. THANK YOU. WE ALSO JUST TWO YEARS AGO
LAUNCHED THE PHOENIX CODING ACADEMY. IT’S AGAIN, ONE OF 20 SCHOOLS IN
OUR PORTFOLIO. BEFORE WE EVEN LAUNCHED PHOENIX
CODING ACADEMY, WE WERE DOING TOURS OF THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. YOU HEARD NEIL A COUPLE MINUTES
AGO TALK ABOUT THE NEED FOR CODERS TO DRIVE THE FUTURE
ECONOMY. REALLY NOT EVEN THE FUTURE
ECONOMY, THE ECONOMY OF TODAY, AND WE TOURED WITH A LOCAL
COMPANY. I WON’T NAME WHICH COMPANY IT
WAS. BUT THEY, AFTER THE TOUR, ASKED
US IF THEY COULD HAVE FIRST DIBS ON THE — WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY
STUDENTS YET. WE WERE ONLY ABOUT TO ACCEPT
FRESHMEN. THEY ASKED IF WE COULD HAVE
FIRST DIBS ON THE SENIORS, TO OFFER THEM INTERNSHIPS AND JOBS. THAT THEY WOULD OFFER PAID
INTERNSHIPS TO ALL SENIORS AT THE CODING ACADEMY, BEFORE WE
ACCEPTED A SINGLE PERSON. THAT IS WHAT THE WORKFORCE IS
DEMANDING. STEVE, A COUPLE MINUTES AGO,
TALKED ABOUT THIS IDEA OF YOUTH HAVING TO FIND AND CREATE THEIR
OWN ACCESS TO CODING. IT IS NOT FAIR THAT ACROSS THE
COUNTRY THAT YOUTH WHO HAVE OPPORTUNITIES LIKE CODING AND
PROGRAMMING HAPPEN TO LIVE IN SUBURBS AND IN COMMUNITIES THAT
HAVE RESOURCES. THIS IS A PHENOMENAL OPPORTUNITY
TO BRING THIS TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE LIBRARIES, AND START
TO REALLY BRING IT ALL THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY. WE HAVE OUR OWN SUCCESS STORIES
INSIDE OF OUR DISTRICT. TODAY YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR VERY
BRIEFLY FROM KIMBERLY, WHO IS A SOPHOMORE AT THE CODING ACADEMY. SHE’S ONLY GOING TO SPEAK FOR
ABOUT A MINUTE, BUT WHEN SHE’S DONE — I DON’T MEAN TO
EMBARRASS HER, BUT I ENCOURAGE YOU TO TALK TO HER ABOUT HER
PASSION FOR ENGINEERING AND HER PASSION FOR CODING. SHE’S AN AWESOME EXAMPLE OF THE
FUTURE OF PHOENIX AND THE FUTURE OF CODING. I’LL END WITH THIS STORY. WE ALSO HAVE A YOUNG GENTLEMAN
WHO IS A PHOENIX UNION ALUM WHO GREW UP IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO BREAK INTO THE
LIBRARY SYSTEM, BUT HE HAD EVERY DAY — HE WAS A STUDENT, GREW UP
IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD, WENT TO ALHAMBRA HIGH SCHOOL, AND EVERY
DAY AFTER SCHOOL, RODE THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION — RODE
THE CITY BUS TO THE BURTON BARR LIBRARY. AT THE TIME, BURTON BARR DIDN’T
HAVE CODING. IT DIDN’T HAVE PROGRAMMING. DIDN’T HAVE TEACHERS. DIDN’T HAVE OPPORTUNITY. SO HE WOULD SHOW UP AND WOULD
GRAB THE BOOK THAT SAID, “CODING FOR DUMMIES,” AND “PROGRAMMING
FOR DUMMIES,” AND HE WOULD GO — HE COULD HAVE AN HOUR A DAY ON
THE COMPUTER, BECAUSE HE HAD TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT GROUP OF
PEOPLE. AND HE WOULD TEACH HIMSELF HOW
TO CODE AND PROGRAM FOR AN HOUR A DAY. EVERY DAY, WOULD RIDE A BUS FOR
AN HOUR, CODE FOR AN HOUR, GO BACK HOME ON THE BUS FOR AN
HOUR. HE DID THAT FOR A COUPLE OF
YEARS. EVENTUALLY DEVELOPED HIS OWN
WEBSITES AND HIS OWN BLOGS WHILE HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. BEGAN TO SELL THOSE WEBSITES AND
BLOGS. WOULD SELL ADVERTISEMENTS ON
THOSE WEBSITES AND BLOGS. EVENTUALLY EARNED A FULL-RIDE
SCHOLARSHIP TO BARRETT THE HONOR COLLEGE, WHERE HE TELLS STORIES
OF MAKING SIX-FIGURE DEALS IN BETWEEN CLASSES, AS A STUDENT AT
BARRETT THE HONOR COLLEGE. STILL TODAY IS THE FASTEST-EVER
GRADUATE IN THE HISTORY OF BARRETT THE HONOR COLLEGE. AND NOW, RUNS AND OWNS COMPANIES
AND HAS EMPLOYEES ALL THROUGHOUT THE GLOBE. THAT WAS ONLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE
HE LEARNED TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF CODE. A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY TODAY THAT
STUDENTS SHOULD LEAVE HIGH SCHOOL TRILINGUAL — ENGLISH,
ANOTHER WORLD LANGUAGE, AND CODING. AND THIS IS AN AMAZING
OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE BILINGUAL AND TRILINGUAL YOUTH WHO GO ON
TO DRIVE THE ECONOMY, AND GET JOBS WITH THE CEOS THAT NEIL
TALKED ABOUT, AND EVENTUALLY BECOME PHILANTHROPISTS AND GIVE
TO THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION. I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY AND
THANK COUNCILMAN VALENZUELA FOR THIS WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY.>>THANK YOU, DR. GESTSON. WE DID A SOFT LAUNCH FOR “CODE
PHOENIX” COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO. AGAIN, 13 LOCATIONS. IN THAT FIRST WEEK, JUST ONE
WEEK, WE’VE HAD 176 STUDENTS ALREADY WHO HAVE COME OUT AND
SIGNED UP AND TAKEN THE CLASSES. THAT’S IN THE FIRST WEEK. THE PROGRAM CONTINUES TO RAMP UP
AND INFORMATION CONTINUES TO RAMP UP, AND THESE STUDENTS ARE
FROM ALL OVER THE CITY. IT’S VERY EXCITING. WANT TO INTRODUCE COUPLE OF
PEOPLE AND TRULY INTRODUCE WHO WE ARE DOING THIS FOR. I’D LIKE TO ASK DEIRDRE BROWN
AND KIMBERLY SANCHEZ — WHY DON’T WE HAVE DEIRDRE
COME UP FIRST, IF THAT’S OKAY. NOW, DEIRDRE BROWN HAS TWO
CHILDREN IN “CODE PHOENIX” CLASSES AT TARVER LEARNING
CENTER. WE’LL BRING KIMBERLY SANCHEZ UP
AS WELL, IF YOU DON’T MIND, KIMBERLY. KIMBERLY SANCHEZ IS ENROLLED AT
THE CODING ACADEMY. AGAIN, SOMETHING DR. GESTSON
MENTIONED. I’LL GO AHEAD AND TURN THE
MICROPHONE OVER TO YOU. WELCOME.>>I’D LIKE TO THANK COUNCILMAN. AGAIN, MY NAME IS DEIRDRE BROWN,
AND MY CHILDREN ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE “CODE
PHOENIX” CLASSES AT TARVER LEARNING CENTER. I CAN SAY THAT THIS IS BY FAR
ONE OF THE BEST PROGRAMS THAT I HAVE ENROLLED MY KIDS IN. WHEN I SAID THAT THIS IS THE
BEST PROGRAM I COULD HAVE INTRODUCED THEM TO, I REALLY
MEAN IT. THEY ARE SO EXCITED ABOUT GOING
TO CODING CLASS. DURING THE SUMMER, THEY DID THE
TWO-DAY PROGRAM, AND THEY SAID, “WHAT TIME ARE WE LEAVING? ARE WE GOING TO GET THERE
ON TIME?” I’M SO HAPPY THAT THEY REALLY
ENJOY IT. RIGHT NOW, THEY SHOULD BE
WATCHING ME SPEAK, BUT THEY’RE OUTSIDE ON COMPUTERS. I JUST LIKE THE KNOWLEDGE BASE
THAT THEY’RE LEARNING. CODING IS HELPING THEM INCREASE
THEIR CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. THEY HAVE TO LEARN THIS IN
SCHOOL ANYWAY, AND BOTH OF THEM HAVE JUST BLOSSOMED. THEY SPEAK A WHOLE NEW LINGO
THAT I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. I’M LIKE, “WHAT ARE YOU
LEARNING?” “WE’RE LEARNING JAVA SCRIPT AND
PYTHON.” I’M LIKE, WHAT? SO THEY CALL THEIR UNCLE, WHO’S
IN I.T., AND HE BREAKS IT DOWN TO THEM AND THEY TALK ABOUT IT
AND I’M OUT OF THE LOOP. AS I SAID, I’M EXCITED. BOTH OF THEM REALLY ENJOYED THE
PROGRAM, AND IT MAKES ME HAPPY TO SEE THAT THEY’RE SO
PASSIONATE ABOUT IT, AND THEY’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO JUST REACH
FOR THE STARS AND BE ABLE TO DO NEW THINGS AND NEW ADVENTURES IN
THEIR LIVES. “CODE PHOENIX” IS A REALLY
AWESOME PROGRAM, AND MY HUSBAND WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE COST
OF IT. I WAS REALLY EXCITED WHEN
I FOUND OUT IT WAS FREE. MY KIDS ARE ALSO ENROLLED IN THE
FALL PROGRAM. THEY MAY NOT SEE IT NOW, BUT AS
THEY’RE EXPOSED TO MORE AND MORE CODING, THEY MAY ALSO SEE THIS
AS A PROFESSION THAT THEY COULD FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT. YOU KNOW HOW THE SAYING GOES. “IF YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING THAT
YOU REALLY ENJOY, YOU WILL NEVER WORK A DAY IN YOUR LIFE.” I WANT BOTH OF MY KIDS TO
EXPERIENCE THIS. I THINK “CODE PHOENIX” HAS
OPENED THESE DOORS FOR THEM.>>HELLO, MY NAME IS KIMBERLY
SANCHEZ, AND I’M A STUDENT AT PHOENIX CODING ACADEMY. I LOVE MY CODING CLASSES THERE. I KNOW THAT WHAT I’M LEARNING
THERE IS DEFINITELY PREPARING ME FOR MY FUTURE SCHOOLING AND
JOB OPPORTUNITIES. IT’S GOING TO HELP ME IMMENSELY
IN THE CAREER FIELD THAT I WANT TO PURSUE, WHICH IS ENGINEERING. I KNOW I AM CONFIDENT THAT
I WILL SUCCEED IN MY FUTURE, THANKS TO THE CODING I AM
LEARNING.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH,
DEIDRE AND KIMBERLY. I’M CONFIDENT KNOWING THAT
KIMBERLY IS GOING TO BE A FUTURE ENGINEER IN OUR COMMUNITY. THAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD. WE HAVE A LOT OF FUTURE
ENGINEERS IN OUR COMMUNITY, AND CODING, UNLIKE MOST OTHER
INDUSTRIES, HAS FOUND A WAY TO CAPTURE OUR YOUTH, CAPTURE THEIR
ATTENTION, AND WE ALL BENEFIT FROM THAT. NOT EVERYONE WHO TAKES A CODING
CLASS IS GOING TO BE AN ENGINEER. WE GET THAT. WE UNDERSTAND THAT. BUT WHAT CODING WILL TEACH IS
PROBLEM-SOLVING. IT WILL TEACH S.T.E.M. FIELDS. IT WILL EVEN TEACH OUR STUDENTS
TO FAIL SAFELY, BUT TO GET BACK UP AND DUST THEMSELVES OFF AND
CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD. WE CAN ALWAYS USE MORE OF THAT
IN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR CITY. AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK ALL OF
OUR SPONSORS. AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK THE
PHOENIX I.D.A., AND ARIZONA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION,
GREATER PHOENIX — IT’S GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE,
NEIL. I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT, GPL,
AND OF COURSE, DR. GESTSON FROM THE PHOENIX UNION HIGH SCHOOL
DISTRICT. MOST OF ALL, DEIRDRE AND
KIMBERLY. YOU ARE THE REASON ALL OF THIS
IS EXISTING NOW. THIS CONCLUDES THE
PRESS CONFERENCE. FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO STAY
AND VISIT WITH OUR SPEAKERS, YOU’RE WELCOME TO. IF YOU’D LIKE, RIGHT OUT THE
DOORS, IF YOU TAKE A LEFT AND ANOTHER LEFT, YOU CAN SEE AN
ACTUAL CODING CLASS IN SESSION. I THINK YOU MIGHT BE AMAZED AT
WHAT YOU SEE THERE WITH OUR YOUTH. AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
COMING OUT. THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING
“CODE PHOENIX.” GOD BLESS. CLOSED CAPTION PRODUCTIONS
ccproductions.com
844-335-0911

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