This summer, Coded by Kids hosted 18 interns through our Tech and Innovation Internship and OpportunityPHL mentorship programs, which connects underrepresented students in Philadelphia with industry professionals. Broken up into teams, the students worked together to solve problems, gain valuable advice from mentors and learn from our partners during site visits and virtual workshops.
Team Kermit, made up of Project Manager Anshika N., UI/UX Designer Jocelyn C., Lead Web Developer Junyan W., and Web Developer Egypt K., worked together solving problems that resonated with them.
Think Like a Founder
Coded by Kids’ aims to not only educate underrepresented youth in Philadelphia, but also cultivate tech and start up leaders. We don’t just want our students to work in tech, but to become their own founders and CEOs. So in addition to growing our students’ technical skills, this summer we challenged them to think outside the box.
For the Think Like a Founder project, we asked the groups to do just that. Team Kermit’s Project Manager Anshika explained that they came up with about 20 different problems and “wanted to sort of see which ones related to us the most so we could create really authentic problem statements.” The idea that resonated the most was Sol-Hair, a platform that helps you on your hair journey. The problem statement was:
Many people during their hair care journey are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products on the market and the effort it takes to maintain their hair. For overall convenience and to ease possible frustration by avoiding the waste of money, a website could be built where various videos, articles, and useful tips are combined into one hub.
Why did they choose this problem? The group’s Web Developer Egypt explained “I have natural hair. I range somewhere between 4a or 4b. So my hair is super curly. And so when we’re looking at why we chose this [problem], it was mainly because it was super practical. A lot of people could use an application like this and a lot of my team members had a really personal connection and experience with hair care.”
Give our app a whirl, so we can take care of your curls!
What makes Sol-Hair different? “There’s a lot of hair care information out there, but there isn’t necessarily a platform that gives personalized information” explains Egypt. UI/UX Designer Jocelyn adds that the website is perfect for those beginning their hair care journey. If you don’t know where to start — visit the resources page, if you don’t know what type of hair you have — take the diagnostic quiz, and the whole app recommends products and different ways to care for your hair that you might not have known. “Our slogan is literally just to give our app a whirl, so we can take care of your curls.”
In addition to creating Sol-Hair, we asked the group to work on a real world project: the client side of an application dashboard for the Draft Studio’s website. Using their experiences applying for the internship, they worked together to streamline the process and create a user-friendly process.
The Tech and Innovation Internship focuses on setting our students up for success in all areas — networking, team building, technical skills, and more. Anshika reflected on the experience and said “[It] has been pretty great… I’m really grateful for not only the internship, but also the guidance that [Coded by Kids] provided. We’ve been able to do a lot of fun workshops and they’re teaching us valuable skills.”
Both of the developers Junyan and Egypt, were excited about how they grew their technical skills by using new languages. Prior to this summer, Egypt only knew Java, but was able to use HTML, CSS, and React on different projects. “So I’ve definitely learned a lot on the coding side” she said. Junyan added that the internship “has been very helpful to me and introducing me to the field of web development, and I think that’s going to help me a lot in the future.”
When asked what their favorite part of the summer was, Jocelyn said it was “a huge tie between the people and the professionalism…this internship really helped me kind of broaden my horizons.” She said that “Coded by Kids and this internship has given me the feeling that I can do most things if I actually set my mind to it.”
This 10-week summer internship was made possible by contributions from our sponsors: Peacock, the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Comcast NBC Universal, Comic Relief, SEI Investments, and Enterprise Holdings. Special thanks to Exyn Technologies, Bank of America, and Cxmmunity for facilitating workshops.
Interested in sponsoring future programs? Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.