SAN FRANCISCO, May 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Grammy Award winner NE-YO will sponsor a summer coding camp at the Holberton School, the innovative two-year college alternative for software engineers, announced today. The free, hands-on camp will give local youths, especially those who cannot afford expensive alternatives, a chance to hear from top local tech mentors, learn for themselves and not teachers.

Holberton’s curriculum is based on progressive education, a methodology that combines project-based and peer learning where students help each other to learn and reach goals. At Holberton, there are no lectures and no teachers, but instead tech mentors. Students acquire practical skills and an understanding of theory through hands-on learning. This guarantees that students possess the skills necessary for the technology industry's most demanding jobs.

"There are so many kids out there wondering what they can do to make their mark, wondering how they can succeed, especially in a super charged area like San Francisco and Silicon Valley,” said NE-YO, who recently joined the school’s Board of Trustees. “By bringing these kids in, showing them how much fun they can have, how much they can learn, I think we are giving them a great leg up.”

Beginning June 26th, the free three-week summer coding “camp” will offer eight spots to the most motivated local students. They will have the chance to see if Software Engineering is a potential career for them. Applications are open now. Students will work with school mentors, including volunteer Lamia Himdach (also a volunteer at chicktech, a non-profit that helps girls discover the world of software engineering) to learn the fundamentals of web development (HTML, CSS, JS) and build their own website. Students will also visit local tech companies to explore the working environments.

Besides promoting the camp NE-YO will review the students' progress personally.

“What better way to see if you like something, than to try it? And indeed that’s the philosophy of the school, learning by doing. Many kids who live in the Silicon Valley ironically don’t even know what software development is, but there are great jobs out there begging to be filled,” said Sylvain Kalache, co-founder of Holberton. “Holberton students come from all walks of life, from musician to a cashier at Trader Joe’s, to high school graduates. After Holberton, they end up working at top Silicon Valley companies like Dropbox and LinkedIn. But they also save the world from asteroids with NASA (where one of the students actually interned). Our students are dreaming really big, and I am sure that one of them is the next Bill Gates.”

The school charges no upfront tuition. Instead, graduates are asked to contribute a percentage of their salaries to the school for the first three years of their post-Holberton employment, giving back to the next generation of software engineers. If not hired, students pay nothing to the school. Their success is the school’s success.

And Holberton boasts a remarkably diverse student body with women (40 percent) and people of color (53 percent) comprising its student population. Its automated admission process was designed to reduce human bias, resulting in one of the most diverse learning institutions.

Students interested can apply here. Please visit www.holbertonschool.com for information about enrollment and opportunities.

About Holberton School
Using project-based learning and peer learning, Holberton’s mission is to train the best software engineers of their generation. At Holberton, there are no formal teachers and no formal courses. Instead, everything is project-centered. We give our students increasingly difficult programming challenges to solve and minimal initial directions on how to solve them. As a consequence, students naturally look for the theory and tools they need, understand them, use them, work together, and help each other. Holberton School teaches how to learn instead of teaching a specific tool or programming language. Holberton School is based in San Francisco and supported by leaders from the technology industry. Go to www.holbertonschool.com to learn more.

About NE-YO
GRAMMY Award-winning singer, composer, producer, and actor NE-YO (born Shaffer C. Smith) is a talent sought by many artists. Not only does NE-YO have three #1 albums, over 10 million albums sold worldwide and three GRAMMY Awards of his own, he has also written and produced chart-topping hits for today's biggest stars including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion and many more. In addition to music, NE-YO's solid career in film includes credits in George Lucas's RED TAILS (2012), Stomp The Yard (2007), Battle: LA (2011), and Save the Last Dance (2006). Recently, NE-YO joined the judges' table for a new dance competition show titled World of Dance premiering May 30th on NBC.

 

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Joseph Eckert
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