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CodeCrew Students Win National and International Honors

Students from Underrepresented Communities Accepted into TED-Ed Student Talks Program and Win Congressional App Challenge

February 25, 2021 9:00 AM EST

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- CodeCrew, a non-profit that empowers children and adults to be tech innovators and leaders, is proud to announce that several of its students have been honored with prestigious achievements, award wins, and exciting opportunities to further their careers.

Johnathan Sherrill and Jayda Murray have been accepted into the TED- Ed Student Talks and Raising Good Gamers program. Raising Good Gamers joined forces with TED-Ed to empower young people to share their insights on video game culture, and ignite imaginations about how games and immersive media can help others address collective challenges. These include achieving equity and social justice, ensuring a thriving planet, and regaining a sense of security. Johnathan and Jayda are two of only 30 high school students worldwide to be selected to participate in the afterschool Ted-Ed Student Talks program, which began in January 2021.

The program will culminate with the opportunity for five students to receive support from TED-Ed coaches in preparation for a speaking engagement at the 2021 Games for Change Festival, which inspires, connects, and changes the world, while supporting today's most pressing challenges around social justice and civic issues, education, health, and more. The 2020 Games for Change Festival connected almost 7,000 people from across 51 countries. The 2021 virtual Games for Change Festival will take place July 12-14.

In addition, the CodeCrew Hackathon team of Johnathan, Jayda, and her sister, Anaya, won first place in Tennessee's Congressional App Challenge for their Walk In My Shoes: Raising Awareness and Change app, which allows players to go through a day in the life of a middle-class Black man. Their storytelling app allows others see the impact of micro-aggressions and racism from a first-person point of view.

In a statement congratulating Johnathan, Jayda, and Anaya, Steve Cohen, U.S. Representative of Tennessee's 9th District, wrote, "I admire your efforts to help others understand the experiences and struggles of their fellow Americans in a time when compassion and understanding is critically important ... I look forward to seeing where the future takes you."

The Congressional App Challenges is for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. Winning apps are eligible to be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building and featured on the House of Representatives' website, Winning students are invited to the #HouseofCode Capitol Hill Reception in Washington D.C.

Founded in May 2015, CodeCrew has mentored more than two thousand students across Memphis through its innovative programs and events with topics ranging from web and mobile app development to robotics and drone programming.

"We are so proud of all Johnathan, Jayda, and Anaya have accomplished and learned while with CodeCrew," said Meka Egwuekwe, Executive Director, CodeCrew. "Their futures are bright and their impact immense."

Of the 500 kids CodeCrew serves weekly, 91% are Black and Latinx youth, 47% are girls, and, overall, 89% of students are more likely to study computer science. In CodeCrew's adult program, after training, the annual starting salary for Code School graduates in the computer science field is approximately $51,000. Prior to CodeCrew training, the annual starting salary for Code School graduates was approximately $15,100.

About CodeCrew

CodeCrew is a non-profit tech organization that empowers youth and adults in Memphis from underrepresented communities in tech to be tech innovators and producers through practical, hands-on computer science education and training. For more information about CodeCrew, visit

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