by Najee El-Amin —
With assistance from the NBA foundation, two Memphis nonprofit organizations, CodeCrew and The Collective Blueprint, are coming together to create a new technology driven initiative.
The Code Collective initiative aims to assist young adults on their path into software development.
The nine-month comprehensive program will be broken into four modules, each focusing on a variety of aspects, including coding and system development.
Students also will have access to the Collective Blueprint’s Careers program, which provides professional development support and work exposure opportunities.
With the support of the Collective Blueprint, participants not only will be afforded transportation assistance, mental health support and counseling, but also a $400 monthly stipend to help them along the way.
“CodeCrew is excited to partner with The Collective Blueprint to develop a new generation of black software engineers with support from the NBA Foundation,” said Meka Egwuekwe, CodeCrew executive director.
“These successful young tech producers will have access to above average incomes, while at the same time helping employers get the talent they desperately need,” Egwuekwe said.
CodeCrew has been serving the Memphis community since 2015, mentoring and training more than 2,000 students along the way.
The organization dives deep into the world of technology, while also ingraining real world lessons into the students.
CodeCrew made headlines earlier this year when three of their youth students were recognized as the winners of the Tennessee Congressional App Challenge.
While the list of accolades for Egwuekwe and his team is plentiful, he believes this new partnership will be one of their top achievements.
Sabrina Dawson, vice president of programs and co-Founder of The Collective Blueprint concurs.
“It’s amazing to bring two organizations together like The Collective Blueprint and CodeCrew, that share a similar desire to be of service in underserved communities, and foster a sense of possibility connected to tangible career pathways,” Dawson said.
The Collective Blueprint strives to bring economic equity to young adults. They have been building pathways to thriving careers since 2016 and are also based in Memphis.
The Collective Blueprint and CodeCrew were two out of nine organizations to receive grants from the NBA Foundation’s recent initiative.
The foundation has allocated more than $3 million in grants to create more career opportunities in black communities.
The program will kick off on June 14. Memphis and Shelby County residents aged 17-30 are encouraged to apply, as long as they meet the following requirements.
They must have either been out of work at any point in the past year, have a high school diploma (equivalent certification) or are a current high school senior.
Also, applicants must not have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, and are not currently in a certification or college program.
(To apply or learn more, visit the Code Collective Program.)