We teach our students to celebrate failure, but hustle with passion towards success. For this year’s #AllStarStudded week, we’ll share a few of our students’ stories, and show how they exemplify the mission of our program.
Today, we’d like to introduce Djassi Julien — Harlem native and one of our Summer Intensive 2014 alums!
Djassi told his story at the Campaign for Black Male Achievement Conference (Rumble Young Man Rumble) in Louisville, KY. He stood up in front of approximately 100 attendees and shared his path to computer science/ tech diversity and the impact that All Star Code has had on his life. He even shared that he aspires to be on the cover of Forbes one day.
Following Rumble Young Man Rumble, Djassi gave a speech to tech entrepreneurs at the ReThink Education Summit in New York. He spoke about his journey growing up in Harlem, his education, and his realization that many opportunities were not available to him. “It took me my first two years of high school to realize that I didn’t have access to these opportunities because I was black. I felt disrespected, excluded, but above all else I felt ready to flip the script.”
That’s when Djassi found All Star Code. Djassi attended ASC’s Design a Startup in a Day workshop and had ”one of the best Saturdays of my life.” When the Summer Intensive application launched, Djassi filled it out as fast as he could and was admitted into the inaugural Summer Intensive program.
“I left All Star Code more confident and optimistic than I had ever been my whole life.” Djassi kept coding outside of class and started attending hackathons at colleges across the country. He returned to the Summer Intensive in 2015 as a Teaching Fellow to give back to the organization.
“All Star Code gave me the confidence to look inside myself and realize that I’m capable of doing whatever I put my mind to. No other learning environment has taught me as much as ASC did, which is why we need more programs like it. If I had classes at school that were taught ASC style, we’d be pumping out Bill Gates-es nonstop! We have to rethink the way we educate kids in America, because when kids like me discover their potential, that’s when we realize that we can change the world.”
Djassi is currently attending Harvey Mudd College and majoring in Computer Science. Check out more stories like Djassi’s, and see how All Star Code continues to foster excellence by thumbing through our 2016 Annual Report.