On December 9th, I was part of something wonderful: my company, Weblinc, opened up its doors and its collective heart to host 18 8th grade Puerto Rican students from four AspiraPa.org schools in the Philadelphia Area. This was something very dear to my heart ; when I approached management about organizing and hosting such an event , without hesitation, it was a resounding “Yes!”. It was a labor of love by 18 of my Front End and Back End Developer colleagues. Mentoring happened one on one over an hour or so. The goal of the exercise was to give a basic introduction to HTML and CSS to students with little or no previous exposure to a programming language.
It was a successful morning of introductions, dialogue, laughing, some snacks and lots of learning and coding! I am hoping we can make this a yearly event. I cannot thank my awesome colleagues and my amazing employer for making this all happen. Paying it forward is a privilege and our duty. We have all had someone who helped us along the way in life; a person who shared their knowledge and helped us get to a point in our own lives that helped make us a better human, a better colleague, a better employee, a better developer. This day allowed us to give back and begin sharing and hopefully our 8th grade mentees left knowing that builidng and coding the world wide web is , literally, now in their hands! The future is now!
About Aspira PA: In 1961, Dr. Antonia Pantoja and a group of educators and professionals created ASPIRA (Spanish word for “aspire”), to address the exceedingly high dropout rate and low educational attainment of Puerto Rican youth. They were convinced that the only way to free the Latino community from poverty and to promote its full development was by focusing on the education of young people, and developing their leadership potential, self-esteem, and pride in their cultural heritage. The ASPIRA Association is currently the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to Hispanic education in the United States, with nine (9) affiliates in the United States and Puerto Rico. Learn more at aspirapa.org