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All Star Code Founder & Executive Director Christina Lewis addresses the crowd.  (Photo by Edwin Josue)


By MARILYN ABALOS
Special to the Filipino Reporter


Earlier this Summer, All Star Code headed by Christina Lewis held its 5th annual benefit raising over $900,000 in East Hampton, N.Y.

The Summer Benefit was held at Loida Nicolas Lewis’ home, with Soledad O’Brien of MSNBC as emcee/moderator.

Van Jones, CNN political commentator, and Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, were honored.

All Star Code is a nonprofit computer science education organization focused on motivated Black and Latino young men.

The organization seeks to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs who have the tools they need to succeed in technology.

They are given the skills, networks and mindsets through its programs.

For more info about All Star Code, visit www.allstarcode.org.

“As a professional business journalist, I had a front row seat to observing the growth in income inequality,” said Lewis.

She sought “to help minority talent gain access to the tech world.”

While she found that there were some programs helping women in the field, she did not see a decent number of resources and opportunities for young men of color.

“So after conversations with over 150 professionals in the education, non-profit, philanthropic and technology spaces, All Star Code was born,” said Lewis.

“In honor of my father’s legacy — and everyone else who has fought for equal rights — I created this program to help the next generation of youth catch the next wave of opportunity. I envision All Star Code to be a program that can give young, intelligent, driven men of color access to this exciting and dynamic field.”


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Loida Nicolas Lewis speaks at the All Star Code benefit with ASC Alumni.  (Photo by Edwin Josue)


Loida Nicolas Lewis also spoke at the event and shared three secrets of success which she said All Star Code students follow.

“Dare greatly” which she explained as goal setting.

She said that “Tell Your Story” was obedience.

She translated the All Star Code mantra “Celebrate Failure” as determination.

Most intriguing for this writer was the ASC mantra “Celebrate Failure” displayed throughout the grounds: from cocktail area to dinner tables to auction stands.

To reiterate, Saujani said, “You never know where failure will leave you” encouraging students to embrace mistakes.

Highlights of the event were the personal stories and special projects of All Star Code alumni showing off apps, games and websites.

Cole Mattox spoke to the crowd of 300 about his desire and achievement in creating his very own hedge fund, the North Tabor Capital — serving as CEO at a young age of 17.

The other high point of the benefit was the fireside chat with Jones and Saujani, moderated by O’Brien.

They emphasized how diversity in top and senior management was significant in ensuring inclusion and representation in science and technology.


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Guests at the All Star Code benefit. From left, Jerry Sibal, Dr. Angie Cruz, Loida Nicolas Lewis, Marilyn Abalos and Edwin Josue.