The summer of my sophomore year, I was blessed with the opportunity to work with CodeCrew as their Communications Intern. What I expected to gain from this internship was more experience in the field of communication, the further development of my writing skills and professional literacy, as well as an expansion of my network. I would later come to realize that this experience would be more than just an impressive addition to my resume.
Within the span of two short months, I met Meghan Smith, the former CTO of the United States under President Obama, travelled to New Orleans to participate in Calvin Mackie’s STEM Saturday, and helped plan CodeCrew’s Lost in Space Hackathon, their biggest event of the year.
As well as exceeding my expectations professionally, this experience was instrumental in helping me gain some insight on how a non-profit operates, and it demonstrated the power and influence of computer science education.
From day one I was immersed in an intimate collaborate environment as an addition to the office staff which consisted of about 4 people including the Executive Director, Meka Egwuekwe. In this unique atmosphere I was afforded the privilege of being directly involved in CodeCrew’s daily procedures and internal affairs in which I was responsible for maintaining the organization’s image through their website and social media platforms, as well as a variety of other mediums.
Across all mediums my goal was to capture and depict how our organization benefitted Memphis youth through computer science education. Both figuratively and literally.
During many of CodeCrew’s programs and events, I was accountable for capturing several photos and videos to generate content and illustrate the impact CodeCrew had on its students as well as the community.
Doing this often entailed working very closely with the students which enabled me to witness first-hand how CodeCrew’s initiative and curriculum was actively working to encourage students to expand their interest in tech and fostering their potential to build and create with the resources given to them.
During CodeCrew’s Grizzlies Coding Camp, over the span of 6 weeks I had the pleasure of watching and documenting nearly 60 students of various skill levels, build and program mobile apps, computer hardware, and robots. Some students even went above and beyond by exercising these skills outside of the program, taking what they’ve learned and pursuing similar projects at home.
Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of this internship was directly observing how CodeCrew’s staff was so instrumental in awakening a passion and an interest in computer science and experiencing how the students were actively engaged, took advantage of the resources, and were confident in their ability to build and create with the skills they learned.
Throughout my short experience, serving for CodeCrew was a delight, as I had the pleasure of working alongside a dedicated team composed of hardworking, ambitious, individuals all working towards a very valuable mission.
I am proud to say that I emerged from this internship with a wide array of skills, as well as a new-found appreciation for CodeCrew’s initiative to introduce computer science education to Memphis youth and a new understanding of how these initiatives directly impact these students.