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Gift of Code: The From Murder Alley to Silicon Valley Project

GOAL: $10,000.00

The From Murder Alley to Silicon Valley Project is designed to give students ages 14 and older the skills needed to be successful in many career paths, specifically in the field of web and mobile development.

The Mission:
We're help 4 inner city youth from the one of the deadliest places to live in Los Angeles County and train them computer programming that they'll be qualify enough to work for a Silicon Valley type startup.  The youth are from one of the most dangerous neighborhood in the nation.  The area is nicknamed "Death Alley" and "Murder Alley" -- 100 people were killed within the 2 mile space between Los Angeles and Inglewood in the last seven years.  An estimated 40 percent of the population lives below poverty line and street gangs also dominate the area.

Homicides in "death alley"
Since 2007, 61 people have been killed on a two-mile stretch on or near South Vermont Avenue between Manchester Avenue and Imperial Highway. The area is the border of the Westmont and Vermont Vista neighborhoods.

Sources: The Homicide Report, L.A. County Coroner’s records.
Graphics reporting by Nicole Santa Cruz and Ken Schwencke


THE PLAN: Phases of student development

PHASE I - Get Mentors
Students begin by learning basic web design markup languages HTML & CSS.  Student will then learn an object oriented programming language Javascript and also learn source version control Git. After course completion, students who are in need of a personal computer for their own are awarded a late model laptop, monitor, and mouse. Course completion also officially enrolls the students in the Web or Mobile Development Training Program. This phase takes approximately two months.  Mentorship can be done in-person or via online using platforms like Google Hangout, Go-to-Meeting or pair programming/collaboration softwares. 

PHASE II - Get Skills
Students choose one of two technology tracks – web development or mobile app development.   They are provided the training, exercises, and assessments required to become a full-stack jr. web or mobile developer. The GOC staff and mentors are available for support and feedback as the students create personal and group projects, building their digital resume by uploading codes to Github and to live servers.  This phase takes approximately three to four months.  Training can be done in-person or via online using platforms like Google Hangout, Go-to-Meeting or other collaboration softwares.

PHASE III - Get Experience
Students take their new tech skills and give back to their community by producing a project for companies or non-profit organizations with a need in their technology track. The students professional technology mentor guide them through the project plan, client communications, and project production. Students can complete up to three projects before they are moved to phase IV. This phase takes approximately three to six months per project. Students can earn stipends or payments per project.  Projects can also be freelance work from sources like Elance and oDesk. 

PHASE IV - Assist Mentors
Students give back to the program, learn leadership skills, and help their peers as student mentors. This is where the program comes full circle, and gives students in this phase the extra confidence they need to be a success. This phase may take approximately two to three months.  Students can earn stipends or payments for mentoring.

PHASE V - Get Employed
Students who successfully completed phases I through IV are attractive candidates for internship, or employment at tech firms. In this phase, GOC mentors and staff work with the students to help them find internship, apprenticeship, or jobs in the tech sector.

Commitment: Four hours per week and engage in technology training and projects for one year (200 hours of training).