The First Annual AFSE Fundraiser
AVC folks will know that my first foray into K-12 Computer Science Education work, which has now become almost a second full-time job, was the effort four years ago to open NYC’s first dedicated computer science high school. That high school is called The Academy For Software Engineering (AFSE) and this year they will graduate their first class. Here is Tylor Fields, AFSE’s first student to be accepted to college.
There will be many more college acceptances at AFSE over the course of the next few months. And a number of AFSE students will be going on to study computer science in college.
Students at AFSE receive 4 years of computer science courses, opportunities for internships and real work experiences, and 4 years of one-on-one mentoring with professionals in the tech community.
In addition to graduating its first class this year (with a graduation rate in excess of 90%, which is off the charts for an unscreened high school in the NYC public school system), AFSE is also doing it’s first annual fundraiser this year.
The fundraiser is on February 3 from 7-10pm at Suite36 on 16 W. 36th Street. AFSE is seeking to raise $125,000 which will give the students in the Class of 2017 the following:
- Each student is matched with a professional, college-educated mentor from iMentor for all 4 years of high school. This means an email each week, an in-person meeting each month, and a go-to person for each phase of high school including completing college applications.
- Each student receives personalized college counseling through junior and senior years, as well as financial support for SAT/ACT exams, public and private college application fees, college visits and college deposits.
- Each student who is on track for high school graduation but not on track for college graduation is invited to participate in an intensive OneGoal course for the last two years of high school and first year of college.
- Each student has access to job shadowing, internships, and other work-based learning experiences to build their personal resumes and apply their learning in a real world context.
If you would like to buy a ticket to the event or donate to it, you can do so here.
Congrats to you and AFSE and congrats to Tylor and his friends. You guys are on your way. Hopefully they can rely on the network they helped build when they go to college.My friend has done a lot of work with students from underserved communities. He said there are problems with keeping kids in post-secondary school because they don’t have the personal networks to rely on helping them navigate things when inevitable problems crop up (like not getting a check so they can buy books or something that seems superfluous to most people).
.Good on ya, Fred, you’re a mensch.Arguably, the most important measure of poverty is the poverty of insufficient parenting amongst those whose parents are engaged in subsistence level employment (if they are lucky enough to even have a job).This program cracks that problem right in the teeth with a 2×4 which is what it needs.Bravo! Well played!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Upvote for proper use of Yiddish.
.You sort have to use a big of Yiddish w/ @LE on this blog, no?Plus my last name is ………………………..JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Plus my last name is ………………………..And it rhymes ironically with the nickname of the guy that runs that bastion of journalistic respectability in NYC.
There is a wonderful yiddish saying that my Dad dropped on me several years ago (casually as if no big deal) which translates to:”If you are going to eat like a pig, let it drip from your beard”.Unfortunately I never got it down in writing so I have to track down another old jew to give me the proper way to say it in yiddish. It had such impact. I think of that saying quite frequently. Really has little to do with eating just a metaphor for certain types of behavior in life, business and relationships (or lack of thereof). Works much better than the current “go big or go home” which is the closest saying I can think of that is trying to say the same thing.
.Back in a secret part of my life, I spent some time in Israel and I have heard that exact saying but in English not Yiddish.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
If the four tuxedos could talk..
.I came to the tuxedos much later in life. In those days it would have been the jump boots. I allowed myself to be talked into doing some truly stupid things. I shudder today.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Arguably, the most important measure of poverty is the poverty of insufficient parenting amongst those whose parents are engaged in subsistence level employment (if they are lucky enough to even have a job).AKA society’s social capital.
“Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy Lighten up while you still can don’t even try to understand Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy”
Was a shock when I heard that last night.Here is one of my favorite live videos of the Eagles. (I love the shots of the audience in particular the little kid (who is in his late 40’s now) playing the guitar.https://www.youtube.com/wat…
Love it, thanks for sharing. Jackson Browne on piano!!
To see the first student get accepted in college must be extremely gratifying. In 4 years, I’m sure Tylor will join a startup or create one, therefore validating even further the profound benefits this program is delivering.
Back on topic…This is so great to see. What a sense of accomplishment.
Great job on this!I’ve been speaking to a few people about the concept of hedged donation, the general idea being to gather enough data to make it possible for people who are willing to donate for educational causes, to channel 10% of their donation to educational projects in the third world. The general idea being, instead of 1000 dollars for a student in the United States, you could donate 900 dollars to a student in the US and the remaining 100 dollars to support 2 students in East Africa, for example. This is not to suggest how to donate, but rather to make it easy for people to have enough data to allow them to decide whether to ‘diversify’ their ‘recipient portfolio’, if that makes sense.Having been involved in a few educational programs overseas, it is always amazing to see what resource-constrained students are able to do with just that little extra push, and it is often the small things, like a class laptop with 4 spare batteries, or mobile data packages to enable open source software downloads.The more you think about it, the more you realize it is a technology play, and it is getting easier to build the tools to make this happen.
Just great stuff.Big congrats on making this so Fred!
This is fantastic Fred. Congratulations. I would love to see my town of Buffalo, NY embrace a similar project.
This could have huge systemic, multi-generational and community impact. Pulling this off had to have taken a huge amount of effort from a wide group of constituents. I would be honored to contribute to something so effective. Thank you for sharing this work with us.
This sounds like a great program that I wish had extensions throughout the country. Thanks for sharing.
Good initiative, Fred.Apropos of computer education:For some time now I’ve been teaching programming topics, such as Python and SQL, to younger people, in addition to my courses for grown-ups / professionals.As part of this, I’ve been thinking some about ways to make the learning more interesting and effective for them. One way I’ve been using is to teach some computer graphics, and use their excitement at being able to create drawings with shapes, etc. (through code), to help motivate the students to learn the features of a programming language – Python, in this case.A simple example:Me: Okay, you wrote 4 commands in Python that drew a square on the screen. Cool.Me: How about if you want to draw multiple squares, with different sizes? One way is to type those 4 commands over and over again, with different values for the size of the square. That could get tedious fast. Lets see a better way….[ Then I show them how to define a function that draws a square; the function can take the desired size as a parameter, and then they can call it any number of times with various arguments, to draw many squares … ]And other examples on the same lines, that motivate the use of language features …I’ve started using Python turtle graphics for this with some of my students, and coincidentally, wrote a post just yesterday that shows how to create a simple interactive drawing program in Python using turtle graphics:http://jugad2.blogspot.in/2…
Here is the turtle from the post 🙂 :
Weird: Image didn’t get included, and now unable to edit / delete the comment. New Disqus bug?
I hope many people see what you and your collaborators are doing, and do the same for their communities. When I hear people proclaiming that they will “change the world”, this is the type of change that makes me happiest to imagine.Congratulations.
when might USV be making its first investment in a company one of these kids starts? two years from now?
Thank you for using your time to advance these efforts. What I like about this model is bringing this into the pre-college stage. Too many people just assume “CS” is something you do in college.
Terrific milestone.And a really important list of services for the kids.Would that we lived in a time where fundraising wasn’t necessary and these types of services were available to all public school kids.
Much better, still, careers in nursing, pharmacy, and more. People rushing into computing need to know that as a career field, it just sucks.
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Actions speak louder than words. A great initiative and a great achievement by all involved, not least Tylor and his classmates,