Oakton to offer Code Elevate, a free summer web development program for young women of color

Des Plaines, Ill. (April 4, 2022) – High school students from throughout the area will develop in-demand technology and computer coding skills this summer, thanks to a free program hosted by Oakton College in partnership with the YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

Enrollment is now open for Code Elevate, an introductory front-end web development bootcamp for female high school students of color. Code Elevate students will develop programming skills using HTML, CSS, and Javascript; participate in weekly field trips; connect with tech professionals; learn about the college application process; and more.

The program runs for four weeks, Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., July 11 to August 4. Classes will be in-person at Oakton College, Skokie Campus.

No skill or prior experience is required, and Code Elevate is free. The program is funded through the U.S. Dept of Education via the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) grant, which Oakton received in 2020. Oakton was the first community college in Illinois to receive this award.

"Black women hold just 3 percent of computing-related jobs, 6 percent are held by Asian women, and 2 percent by Latinas," says Dear Aunaetitrakul, senior manager of Oakton's COMPASS program. "Programs like Code Elevate can help close these gaps by providing space for young women of color to be introduced to the tech industry."

Upon completion of the program, students will have the option to earn one college-level credit from Oakton's Computer Science curriculum. The program is open to 20 students, who can apply via Eventbrite. The application deadline is May 1.

Information sessions will be held April 5 and 14, 5 – 6 p.m. on Zoom. Sign up here. For more information, contact AANAPISI@oakton.edu.

Oakton’s COMPASS (Center for Organizing Minority Programs to Advance Student Success) initiative strives to recruit and retain an increasing number of young women on STEM pathways. It provides co-curricular activities for women to develop an interest in computer sciences.