The rate at which we progress is defined by the time and energy we invest in ourselves. We can’t do everything alone however. As John Lennon and Paul McCartney famously wrote, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” But not everyone has access to the same resources you and I do. Sometimes those friends aren’t so readily visible or available and thus progress inches along, stalls or sometimes regresses.
One of the biggest trends I’ve seen in Silicon Valley is the drive to teach coding as part of mainstream education. One of the most interesting and promising trends working behind the scenes is helping the underprivileged learn how to code.
For the last several years, I’ve worked with Chris Redlitz of Transmedia Capital and his lovely and brainy wife Beverly Parenti, both of whom co-founded The Last Mile. TLM is an incredibly inspirational program that provides entrepreneurial training and deep courses in coding to incarcerated men and women in prison systems around the United States. I’ve participated in local programs hosted at San Quentin and every time, I leave with new found encouragement. The program is a resounding success to say the least.
In 2014, I was introduced to Jeremy Johnson by good friend Alexa Sordato with a simple note attached to the email, “you two have to meet.” Without question or hesitation, I met him and immediately struck what I’m sure will be a long-term friendship.
Jeremy is the co-founder of Andelo.co, a new venture that teaches students in developing countries how to code. But, it does so with a twist. For starters, Jeremy believes that Africa as a continent and economic power that is grossly underestimated. Next, he designed an academic model that’s subsidized by vested partners. More so, students earn an income while they learn, graduating with a positive position rather than acquiring debt as many students do in the United States for instance. Once students graduate and become Andela fellows, they earn part of a global workforce that serves a thriving roster of companies hiring in-demand developers for important projects.
I was so taken by Jeremy, Andela and their mission that I invited him to Paris to present on the main stage at LeWeb. As you’ll see, Jeremy’s story and vision in nothing short of inspiring. Please watch and share.