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Eighth-grader shares love of robotics while learning IT skills at CodeCrew

CodeCrew is one of 10 organizations in the Memphis area that received the 2022 Black Community Commitment Grant. Combined, the organizations are getting $600,000.

Author: Rebecca Butcher

Published: 7:58 PM CST February 15, 2022

Updated: 10:10 PM CST February 15, 2022

One eighth-grader who is preparing now for his future career in technology is sharing his love for robotics.

The student attends CodeCrew, the local non-profit that was awarded a Nike grant on Tuesday.

Robots, coding, it’s a world of technology Rico Maxwell thrives in.

“When I was 8 years old or 7, I learned coding,” said Maxwell. “I got interested in it so I wanted to start my own robotics company like cell technology.”

The Bellevue Middle School student spends time at CodeCrew sparking his imagination and learning the tangible tools to make his vision a reality.

“I like robotics, coding,” Maxwell said. “When I get older I plan to make my own tech company so I started to learn.”

The non-profit supports young students with diverse backgrounds, many pursuing future careers in tech.

CodeCrew is one of 10 organizations in the Memphis area which received the 2022 Black Community Commitment Grant. Combined the organizations are getting $600,000.

CodeCrew’s executive director Meka Egwuekwe said the grant will primarily go toward funding youth programs.

“With afterschool and summer programming in particular,” explained Egwuekwe. “So it will allow us to reach more kids and bring quality computer science education to them. A small amount will also go to support our adult program where we train adults in 6 months to become entry-level software engineers.”

It was the Grizzlies that supported the programs from the start.

“I say all the time every time Ja Morant dunks a ball, kids are learning to code because the Grizzlies continue to support us in this way,” Egwuekwe said. “Nike obviously has a great relationship with the NBA and individual teams.”

As a result, giving every child access to quality tech education, including those with plans to build their own business.

“You know fancy robots that you see, serving people drinks and dinner food,” explained Maxwell. “I want to do things like that but more advanced.”

Check out the Local Memphis article here


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