Sometimes you meet someone and immediately realize that your mission and core values are one in the same. That serendipitously occurred last summer between Mission Bit CEO Stevon Cook and MEDA Technology Training Coordinator Leo Sosa. MEDA is the lead agency of the Mission Promise Neighborhood.
Sosa had been invited to speak about MEDA’s free Mission Techies program to Mission Bit’s summer 2015 cohort. The venue was the Valencia Street campus of City College of San Francisco. When Sosa walked in the room, he discovered 20 youth from different backgrounds — but there were no Latinos.
After the session, Sosa shared with Cook the story of MEDA’s Mission Techies, putting Latinos from underresourced communities on the path to tech careers. This is an important part of students being supported on a cradle-to-college-to-career continuum, with Mission Techies being taught IT skills while simultaneously being encouraged to continue their higher education.
Cook then explained how Mission Bit focuses on teaching coding to high school seniors, running “camps” on that topic right in the schools.
That’s when the brainstorming began.
They knew there needed to be crossover for their programs, as both share the goal to close the diversity gap in tech. While at times this seems like a Herculean task, Sosa and Cook’s passion for their respective work provides them the impetus to push the work forward.
The result? Sosa currently shepherds some of the Mission Techie Latinos into the Mission Bit coding program, and the Mission Techies curriculum now incorporates elements of Mission Bit.
The initial joint project was for the fall 2015 cohort of Mission Techies to refurbish 10 MacBook Pros for the Mission Bit program. That number has now grown exponentially — the Techies current winter 2016 cohort is in the process of refurbishing more than 150 computers, as Mission Bit received a large donation of laptops from tech company Symantec.
Mission Bit and MEDA’s Mission Techies have each been making a difference in the lives of young people in the community.
Together, the synergy of these organizations’ collaboration will make that impact all the greater in San Francisco’s Mission Promise Neighborhood.
Interested in the Hack Reactor coding camp starting Feb. 8 at MEDA, a Mission Promise Neighborhood parnter?
Call MEDA’s Leo Sosa at (415) 282-3334 ext. 105; firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working, and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.