More Than Code: An All Star’s Reflection

*The following is a letter written by Jordane Thomas, an All Star Code alum, after the culmination of our 2016 Summer Intensive program. A Senior at Medgar Evers College Preparatory High School, Jordane was hosted at Goldman Sachs for six weeks where he gained the confidence to dare greatly, the safety to celebrate failure, and the freedom to tell his story.

A few weeks ago I was asked to write a letter to the donors that made my participation at All Star Code’s Summer Intensive possible. Although in that letter I thanked them and told them what I had learned, I also felt I didn’t get to truly express all of my sentiments. When I came to All Star Code I wondered what effect the program would have on me. I knew how to code, wanted to be an entrepreneur, had developed the makings of a growth mindset, and was to some extent embracing failure in my life. Though over the course of the program I found myself growing in all these areas and then some.

Jordane Thomas (left) and Charles Marshall during a site visit to Twitter’s NY offices

While I knew how to code I didn’t really understand how to build an application, or use frameworks and libraries. Learning both of these over the summer has helped me to become a better programmer and improve in other areas of life as I apply coding concepts to them.

My time at All Star Code’s Summer Intensive was so much deeper than learning how to code. I learned important social skills that will help me become a well-rounded and successful entrepreneur. By working in teams I developed teamwork and leadership skills. And by interacting with my cohort, teammates, and the kind professionals willing to be available to us at Goldman Sachs, I learned the basics of networking and the importance of chemistry in interpersonal relationships.

Our 2016 Goldman Sachs student cohort

Increasing my ability to embrace failure was one of my biggest reasons for coming to ASC, and I wasn’t disappointed. Being in an environment where everyone is embracing failure, getting up and moving forward was really inspiring.

To all the staff of All Star Code, the Goldman Sachs’ cohort (Goldman GANG GANG GANG), Goldman Sachs’ employees, all the people who worked hard to set up our Summer Intensive program, Christina Lewis Halpern, the families of the All Stars, and All Star Code’s donors: thank you for a truly amazing summer.

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