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This post was written by Sam Dalton and Lydia Kats, both engineers at NerdWallet.
What do you get when you match a life-changing education nonprofit with driven engineers who care about making a difference in their community?
For the second year, NerdWallet partnered with ScriptEd, a nonprofit based in New York with a mission to provide free computer science education to high school students in under-resourced schools. Our first event with ScriptEd was in the summer of 2017, when we hosted 20 students from nearby schools in our San Francisco offices for one day. This year, ScriptEd expanded the program, with NerdWallet hosting more than 30 students for two full days.
While in our office, students attended lessons in everything from business communication through Slack and email to how to use coding and project-management tools such as git and GitHub. The ScriptEd curriculum emphasizes practical skills rather than theory, to help students get a foot in the door with college applications or even local internships. The students’ main project was to finish their own personal portfolio websites to show off everything they’d learned in the program.
Volunteers from within NerdWallet’s engineering organization donated their time to mentor students, give practical help and offer feedback on their projects. The students demonstrated impressive technical skills through their portfolio sites, each of which embodied the student’s personality and aesthetic sensibility. It was amazing to see all of the creativity on display. At the end of the two days, our founder and CEO, Tim Chen, came in to talk about how he started the company, and to answer any questions that the students had — and they had many!
Both years have been resounding successes, and everyone involved, from the students to ScriptEd educators to our engineering volunteers, had a great time. Most important, we all learned a lot — about development skills and about our own capabilities to teach and learn.
Interested in learning more about the partnership with ScriptEd or our engineering team? Reach out to us at [email protected]!
Top photo: Tim Chen, NerdWallet CEO, talks to ScriptEd students about the value of feedback.