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Pokémon Go developer donates $300,000 to CodeCrew

By The Daily Memphian Staff, Daily Memphian

Memphis-based CodeCrew has received a $300,000 donation from Niantic Inc., a technology company that specializes in augmented reality games and developed the mobile game Pokémon Go.

It is an unrestricted donation and the largest one-time corporate gift in the history of CodeCrew, a nonprofit that works to make children and adults tech innovators and leaders.

The gift will be used to expand CodeCrew’s K-12 and adult programs and enhance its virtual education platform, strengthening its mission to eliminate the digital divide and increase diversity in tech through computer science education.

Meka Egwuekwe

“We are so grateful for Niantic’s donation, and for the company’s understanding and validation of how our work greatly impacts Black and Brown communities, and reduces the digital divide,” Meka Egwuekwe, executive director of CodeCrew, said in a release. “The gift will help fund our mission to support and train underrepresented communities in computer science, as well as make positive change and impact lives in Memphis.”

CodeCrew, established in 2015, serves 500 kids each week and 91% are Black and Latino youth, 47% are girls. It has found 89% of its students are more likely to study computer science.

The annual starting salary for adult Code School graduates in the computer science field is about $47,600, according to the release.

“We’re honored to help support the impactful and crucial work that CodeCrew does for so many in Memphis,” Yennie Solheim, director of social impact for Niantic, said. “Not only are they working to ensure that local youth and adults stay up to speed on technological education, but their programs are actively lifting up Black and LatinX youth, an important step in addressing the racial disparities in education and tech.”


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