Kevin M. participated in the Code2College program this past year as a student at Stony Point High School. Last week, we sat down with him and asked him about his experience in Code2College.
MS: Hey Kevin! You’ve really impressed us with your performance this year in the program. I’d love to know what made you apply to Code2College in the first place?
KM: I heard about it when Code2College came to visit my school. It sounded like a great opportunity to learn more skills before college, and I wanted to explore the computer science field.
MS: I know that you were involved in our Web Development Leadership Program (WDLP) at Stony Point HS learning web design and development skills. What else have you learned outside of those technical skills?
KM: There are so many professional skills I learned in this program. At the workshops we got to learn how to build up a resume, work on professional introductions and practice how to interview. It was really fun to meet and work with these volunteers who worked at different companies, but I also feel like I was able to get more comfortable speaking to these adults. It felt more like they were peers than these people I should be nervous speaking with.
MS: Was there any particular workshop that stood out as your favorite?
KM: That’s tough. I really liked the workshop at Google because that’s where I got to practice my interview skills, and we had a lot of one-on-one conversations with the Googlers over there. It’s a close one, but I think that my favorite one was Facebook. I loved taking a hands-on approach with the material we learned and because it was fun meeting students from other schools and districts that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. We worked on social media campaigns and had a lot of fun while learning to use new tools. It also doesn’t hurt that my team got first place in the competition.
MS: That’s great to hear – especially that it was tough to decide which was your favorite workshop! The Googlers and Facebookers put A LOT of effort into making their workshops impactful for our students. So, how have these new skills impacted you?
KM: I want to be an entrepreneur and launch a company in the tech field, so these skills have impacted me alot. I would say my professional success was impacted the greatest, because now I can take the skills that I learned and apply it directly to my professional and personal life. I’ve also been able to meet and network with lots of other students and volunteers in the program. I was able to find clients and start creating websites for them because of the skills I gained in Code2College. I can really see already how these skills are an asset in the professional world.
MS: Excellent! And I keep hearing this recurring theme of meeting people through the program. It sounds like that was a significant part of your experience as well.
KM: Definitely. My instructor Sam definitely had the biggest impact on me and my experience. He helped explain concepts when they made no sense to me and I gained a pretty good understanding of the material through his lessons and teaching style.
MS: I’m curious to know what you’ve learned about yourself from participating in Code2College.
KM: I definitely learned to talk more openly and in public since starting Code2College. I wasn’t really used to doing this before joining and didn’t really have a lot of opportunity to practice. At Code2College workshops, students are constantly put into the spotlight. Whether in small groups or in front of the entire audience, it helps us get so much more comfortable with public speaking.
MS: Glad to hear that you don’t mind getting pushed outside of your comfort zone, Kevin! Do you have any parting advice that you could give to potential students?
KM: Try it and see how much you like it. It’s really fun because you can literally make something impactful – virtually out of nothing. It’s so interesting and satisfying, and you’ll feel amazing once that final product is finished.
MS: We’re so glad you had such a great experience in the program. Thank you for your time today Kevin!