Around Town: Senator Josh Becker recognizes StreetCode Academy as Nonprofit of the Year | New

In the latest Round Town column, news about an East Palo Alto organization recognized as the Nonprofit of the Year, a New Learning Center for Middle and High School Students, and the Seventh Congressional App Challenge.

BREAKING THE BARRIERS … In the past 16 months, East Palo Alto nonprofit StreetCode Academy has equipped community members with the digital tools and skills they need to communicate virtually when they stay close to home during the pandemic. StreetCode was recently recognized as the Nonprofit Association of the Year in 13th Senate District of California, who is represented by Sen. Josh becker.

“In any given year, tackling this problem would be difficult enough,” he said in a July 29 press release. “Add to that a once-in-a-century pandemic, and I can imagine it seemed almost impossible. The association organized 20,000 hours of free technology lessons, provided technical support to 2,500 students from the City of Ravenswood School District and secure hundreds of free laptops for students. StreetCode now serves more than 5,500 people in the region and 1,000 people nationwide.

“In many ways, the past year threatened to widen the divide that exists within Silicon Valley – poverty in the shadow of wealth and no bridge in between,” said the CEO of StreetCode. Olatunde Sobomehin said in the press release. “Yet in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, so many people have come together to provide computers, Internet access, technological education and hope for a better future.”

SUPPORTING STUDENTS … College and high school students facing learning differences will have a new place to find help. Children’s Health Council (CHC) and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation joined forces to establish the Schwab Learning Center at CHC, which will open in Palo Alto in September.

The foundation presented an endowment for the 650 Clark Way center, where students are referred or self-referred for services, which include psychoeducational assessments, mentoring, short-term therapy and community education. Help will be available in person or online, according to COVID-19 protocols, and financial assistance will be offered to students.

“We are extremely confident that the center will be in good hands with CHC”, investor and founder of the foundation Charles Schwab said in a statement. “There is such a need in our community, so we look forward to working with CHC and seeing high school and university students thrive.

The center will focus on serving Stanford University students in its first year, then expand to high school students and other Bay Area colleges and universities in its second year. . In the long term, the program plans to help 400 to 500 students on an annual basis. The CHC selected Dr. Nicole ofiesh to be the director of the center from this month. His previous job was Director of Innovation and Senior Research Scientist at the Potentia Institute.

TECHNOLOGY… Students can participate in the seventh edition Congress Applications Challenge for the 18th arrondissement of the Congress, which is represented by Rep. Anna eshoo, D-Palo Alto. The House of Representatives launched the competition eight years ago to promote innovation and engagement in the fields of STEM education.

“Since its inception in 2013, the Congressional App Challenge has been a tremendous opportunity for students to think creatively and create innovative solutions to our community’s problems. Over the past year, we have had many creative entries responding to needs during the pandemic and on pressing issues in our community, and I look forward to seeing what the students design this year. I encourage all students, regardless of their level of coding expertise, to use technology to creating creative solutions to meet the myriad of challenges we face today, ”said Eshoo.

Science, technology, engineering, and math are fundamental to innovation, and the Congressional App Challenge encourages students, builds interest in STEM, and motivates students to pursue higher education and work in these fields. , she said.

The challenge is open to all middle and high school students who live or are eligible to attend a public school located in the neighborhood. Students entering the competition must create a video explaining their application and what they learned during the competition process. The deadline for submission is November 1st.

An appointed panel of academics, entrepreneurs, technology managers and other experts will judge the submitted applications. The winners will be displayed in the United States Capitol. To apply, visit

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