The goal of #YesWeCode is simple, but ambitious -- close the equality gap by teaching 10,000 at-risk kids computer programming and build tools to improve their communities. The project was spearheaded by former White House green jobs czar Van Jones, and has enlisted representatives from President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and Prince (yes, the musician).
Young people have already descended on Philadelphia for #YesWeCode’s hacakthon this weekend, where msnbc will be chronicling their journey for the entire event to find out what the project is like from the inside.
Zachary Dorcinville is already using tech to make a change in his life: he used the site GoFundMe to raise money for #YesWeCode’s first event in New Orleans this summer. Doricinville is exactly the kind of young person the program is tailor made for; his enthusiasm for technology jumps off the screen. In an interview with msnbc's Joy Reid, he said he’s passionate about technology projects that deal with the mental health and wellness of young people like himself.
If you read Victoria Pannell’s bio, you’d think you were reading about someone much older. At 15, she is already a civil right’s activist, a Screen Actors Guild actress, a black belt in karate and a published essayist for the New York Daily News, where she wrote about how gun violence has impacted her community in Harlem.
Over the next three days, msnbc will follow these two young people, as well as the rest of the #YesWeCode hackathon, and get an inside look at what it’s like to change the world through technology.