The Uncommon Story

In 2018, we began this journey with the following founding mission: to leverage the power of technology to create educational & economic opportunities for disenfranchised communities. We did this by hiring young adults in low-income neighborhoods and teaching them how to teach our youth coding curriculum. Right away we were creating jobs and giving young students their ever first coding experiences.

We learned a few lessons early on, however, that changed everything. Not only could we not afford to scale a model of training & hiring “teachers”, we didn’t want those young adults to be teachers at all. We wanted them to be students.

So we began to think. How could we get our young adults to become students without giving up what we’d built? And how could we monetize the skills we were teaching for free, to take some of the burden off of traditional fundraising efforts – making scale more realistic?

We decided to prioritize the young adults, and we built a Tech Bootcamp just for them. But we couldn’t stand the thought of losing a single one of our super genius young coding All Stars, so we kept them too. Today when a young adult joins our program, not only are they learning the most in-demand tech skills for free, they’re volunteering daily, giving coding lessons at the local schools in their communities.

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more on sustainability

As we mentioned earlier, we realized that if we wanted to scale this mission, we'd have to find ways to generate revenue - outside of the traditional non-profit streams. Today we’re proud to say that 100% of a public donation goes directly to growing our program. Here’s how we are able to do that:

Private Donors

We are grateful for the foundations, families and private individuals who dedicate their gifts to helping us cover our operating costs. This is a major factor in enabling us to make our 100% Pledge to public donors.

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Commissioned Work

Completing work for clients isn’t just about raising money for the program. Every project is a valuable learning experience for our Student / Developer teams.Thanks to our clients, 1,000s of kids are learning how to code.

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Corporate Social Responsibility

Our Innovation Hubs are pure magic. They also play a major role in our sustainability plans. By branding them, we’re able to secure cohort sponsorship and offload student costs to our corporate partners.

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our vision for the future

We see a world where anyone, anywhere, has equal opportunity to improve their lives through technology. The internet is perhaps the most powerful and democratizing force of our time, but universal internet access alone is not enough.

We believe in taking a grassroots approach and investing in communities and people for the long-term, combining both in-person and online resources to create the most wholesome learning experience. Building physical environments where creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship can thrive is foundational for this.

We also see a beautiful optimism in the rising generations. A spirit of philanthropy and giving that has embedded itself in the way we live, work and do business. Companies like TOMS and Warby Parker have been pioneers of the 1 for 1 business model. We’re just taking it one step further.

In being a non-profit, we are mandated by law to put impact ahead of profit. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t look at capitalism and profit maximization for inspiration. We have figured out how to monetize the skills we’re teaching – there just aren’t any shareholders who benefit at the end; just more students, from more underprivileged walks off life who will get to learn the skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

We believe that this business model will win out, and will enable us to achieve global scale and impact. We hope you’ll join us.

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