Project Include aims to make coding fun and accessible for everyone, despite socioeconomic barriers. There are quite a few obstacles to entering the tech industry but the resource barrier is a pretty high wall to climb. The lack of an adequate computer or software, combined with the absence of enough technical mentors or engineer role models within the community, makes it difficult for many to consider coding as an available tool or even a practically attainable skill.
That is where Project Include comes in – we instruct, we encourage and, surprisingly for us, we do a lot of learning too. As we describe in detail the importance of coding syntax, we also start to discover the scope of challenges present in some communities, and watch as our empathy as engineers grow tenfold. Discovering the complexity of our environment and dealing with the daily logistical crisis is exciting but also a bit distracting. There are so many problems to tackle that it becomes difficult to identify which one is the most important.
It wasn’t until I attended ILead’s Club Leaders Roundtable in May that I realized what the real issue was we lacked vision. Because we had yet to establish a clearly defined image of where we were headed, we did not know how to even begin the journey. After the Club Leaders Roundtable, I brought this concept back to my team and worked to sharpen our understanding of our goals. After that, all our worries boiled down to only two main challenges actually reaching our target demographic and doing a great job teaching. Identifying these early on led to better prioritization, a complete overhaul of our budget and a new partner, Lighthouse Labs, that resonated with our improved image of ourselves.
You can volunteer at Project Include by heading to projectinclude.ca.
Don’t miss the next Club Leaders Roundtable! Join us Thursday, August 25th, 5:30 – 7:00pm in WB 215.