On the Job: Hour of Code

After going on a job site tour to a few tech companies in December 2015, a number of youth accessing our PAVE program were inspired and wanted to learn more about how they could pursue a career in the tech industry. The problem was they didn’t know where to start, and most had never heard of code. This sparked the idea to introduce youth to a more hands on approach by offering a program where professional tech mentors would come in once a week to help youth navigate and troubleshoot through free online coding programs…and “Hour of Code” was born!

During Hour of Code, tech mentors represented from New Relic, JIVE, and Code Fellows have been guiding youth through online programs that introduce users to the beginning stages of learning how to code. Since its inception this past January, we’ve had  2-5 youth engage with these mentors every week. Not only are youth learning a new skill, but they are developing positive mentor relationships during this hour.


We love mentors like Leona!

Leona Campbell, Senior Staff Documentation Engineer at Jive Software, is one of those mentors.   With Jive’s offices across the street from New Avenues, Leona had wanted to get involved somehow. 

I wanted to do something more personal and one-on-one.  When I heard about Hour of Code, it clicked how I could help.  I could not only tutor, but I could connect my colleagues with the program as well.  I got excited about the opportunity to connect youth with the high tech community, and I find it super rewarding to help people learn.  I am so happy to meet such motivated and wonderful young Portlanders.  I feel like it’s actually a selfish thing I’m doing – they help me appreciate my job and the challenges I overcame to get here.  And their energy and motivation brightens my day!

We’re so appreciative of Leona and all the volunteers that are mentoring the youth we serve!  If you’re interested in mentoring youth through Hour of Code or through other opportunities in our job training program, please contact:

Kim Higley, Business & Career Development Specialist, at khigley@newavenues.org or call 503-517-3906.