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.

Want to volunteer and support?

If you want to help support young people through these workshops and guide them into the next steps of their careers why not volunteer your time. Please click the venue you can support for more information.

Virtual   |   Kelowna   |   Vernon   |   Penticton

What is it?

CODEanagan is a free tech program for youth. Different tech-related topics are taught in-person or virtually over a 3-week period in May and June 2022. CODEanagan provides 16-22-year-old youth an opportunity to explore an industry that may not have been available before. 

What does it offer?

Coaching in 9 topics related to the tech industry from one of four campuses in the Okanagan (virtual, Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon). Each course is delivered over 2 evenings (total of 7 hours of coaching time). There is the option to complete all the credits for each course and earn a certificate. 

Topics include: Audio Engineering, Intro to Coding, Digital Animation, 3D Design & Printing and more! Check out the Course Descriptions here!

  • Mentors – a team of volunteers are available to help you complete the workshops; they can also work with you in preparing for job search in the industry or building your network. 
  • Day in the Life – through our workplace connections and there are opportunities to experience what life is like in the tech industry, check if it is the path for you! 
  • Earn while you learn – we value your time and want to offer a token of thanks to you for participating. Each person who completes 2 sessions of a topic is eligible to receive a gift card from UWBC. 
  • Food and Transport – we will provide snacks and refreshments during the workshops; access to bus tickets is also available. 

How do I access CODEanagan?

You can register to attend the courses by emailing us at and include CODEanagan as your subject. 

Ask to be referred by YMCA, The Foundry, BGCO or your school. 

How can I prepare to attend the courses?

An orientation workshop will be held before the workshops start. You can meet the course facilitators, some of the mentors and even speak to organizations that can help you plan the next step in your working or learning life. 

“I really enjoyed CODEanagan because it was really fun learning how the internet works and how all kinds of technology works. I would like CODEanagan to continue to grow as a free program because it really helps provides access to information for youth like me to learn how the world around us works and how use that knowledge in the near future.”

– Nikolai Downer, CODEanagan participant, April 2021

The Initiative

CODEanagan will provide any youth aged 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 host two sets of four technology workshops – or boot camps – in the 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 vary, but may include topics such as:

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


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 is free to the student. We will also establish student awards designed to help with the cost of living and items like transportation and meals.

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

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.

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

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
Big Little Science Centre Kamloops Kamloops
Canada Learning Code + CODE Mobile programs Kelowna
Central Okanagan Public Schools Kelowna
City of Revelstoke & Revelstoke Idea Factory Revelstoke
Community Connections Society Revelstoke
Kamloops Innovation Centre Kamloops
KAST – Kootenay Association of Science & Technology Nelson – Kootenays
Okanagan College Continuing Studies All
Okanagan Regional Libraries All
Okanagan Science Centre Vernon
SAEDS (Salmon Arm Economic Development Society) & Innovation Centre Salmon Arm
SD19 – Revelstoke Revelstoke
SD23 – Central Okanagan Public Schools Central Okanagan
SD 73 – Kamloops Kamloops
Stoke Youth Network Revelstoke
YMCA/Jump Start Central Okanagan

For more information, contact Naomi Woodland at 236-766-0623 or email:

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