Helping youth reach their full potential is a priority for United Way.  CODEanagan is a barrier-free tech program for youth.

Through learning and mentorship on a wide range of tech related subjects delivered in a fun way, CODEanagan will ignite imagination and aspiration among a group of young people who wouldn’t typically believe they could pursue a future in tech.

December Workshops have been postponed until January 2021

Blog Writing Workshop    |   Creating Chatbots Workshop

The Need

Accelerate Okanagan estimates that on any given day, 100 tech positions in Kelowna need to be filled, many requiring coding skills. Techstars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, recently conducted an analysis on the maturity of the tech industry in the Okanagan. The report concluded that the number one risk for the tech sector is lack of talent and skills required to support growth.

Among Centennials, aptitude for technology is at an all-time high; however, many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are not exposed to training and career opportunities in the tech sector. They simply don’t believe it is a route that is open to them. In addition, many of these young people do not follow a traditional learning path and may require additional supports to help them succeed.

The Challenge

The challenges for youth in the Okanagan are significant and contribute to under-representation

and challenges accessing the digital economy.

Our Goals

  • To build confidence and aspiration among youth facing barriers to participation in the digital economy
  • To develop the fundamental digital literacy skills needed to pursue a career in the tech sector
  • To raise awareness of opportunities in the tech sector among excluded or disadvantaged groups

The Initiative

CODEanagan will provide disadvantaged youth, age 16-22, access to range of opportunities designed to build confidence, awareness and skills, including:

  • Coding and technology bootcamps
  • Coaches from local tech businesses
  • Access to further education
  • Financial awards designed to support participation

This program focuses on young people all across the southern interior region.

Boot Camps

Each year, we will host two sets of four technology workshops – or boot camps – running Spring and Fall. Each boot camp comprises two three-hour sessions, taught by an accredited industry instructor. They provide an exciting taster, exposing participants to the reality of a career in tech, and raising aspirations to what’s possible. The four boot camps will vary each time but may include specific technology topics such as:

  • 3D design & printing
  • Android app development
  • Audio engineering
  • Blogs and wordpress
  • Chatbot development
  • Digital animation
  • General coding
  • Video game development

Coaches

After the boot camps, students will be matched with an industry coach to help them navigate the sector, providing insight into the tech industry, supporting job-readiness and creating networking opportunities.

Student Supports

Students in our target groups may experience financial barriers to participation in learning. Access to CODEanagan courses will be free to the student. We will also establish student awards designed to help with the cost of living and items like transportation and meals.

CODEanagan Program Partners

CODEanagan is a unique partnership initiative coordinated by United Way. Our partners each play a specific role and bring considerable expertise and resources to the program.

  • Okanagan College hosts some of the boot camps, provides expert instructors, and delivers some of the programs.
  • Accelerate Okanagan provides the connection to the tech community and identifies coaches from tech businesses.

CODEanagan Corporate Partners

Thanks to the current corporate partners who’ve provided  financial support through community investment grants or in-kind support in 2020.

  • Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union 
  • RBC Royal Bank of Canada – RBC Future Launch

CODEanagan Previous Supporters

Thanks to the following community corporate partners who’ve provided financial support through community investment grants or in-kind support in the past effectively helping CODEanagan launch.

  • Ogopogo Rotary Club of Kelowna
  • TELUS Friendly Future Foundation
  • Twirling UmbrellasTechathlon creative campaign

CODEanagan Community Champions

Thanks to the following community champions for facilitating CODEanagan workshops in your community OR sharing the bootcamp info to enable students to take part.

Organization Region
Canada Learning Code + CODE Mobile programs Kelowna
Central Okanagan Public Schools Kelowna
City of Revelstoke & Revelstoke Idea Factory Revelstoke
Community Connections Society Revelstoke
KAST – Kootenay Association of Science & Technology Nelson – Kootenays
Okanagan College Revelstoke
Okanagan College Kelowna
Okanagan College Continuing Studies Salmon Arm
Okanagan Science Centre Vernon
SAEDS (Salmon Arm Economic Development Society) & Innovation Centre Salmon Arm
School District 19 Revelstoke
Stoke Youth Network Revelstoke
YMCA/Jump Start Central Okanagan

 

Additional Information

For more information, contact Jude Brunt at 250-869-2370 or email: jude@unitedwaysibc.com

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