July 25, All Star Code hosted its second annual Summer Benefit, raising more than $600,000 at the sold-out event in East Hampton, N.Y. Christina Lewis Halpern, All Star Code’s founder and executive director, also made a major announcement that evening—an innovative collaboration with AT&T.
With the shared goal of empowering students everywhere to reach their highest potential, AT&T has awarded All Star Code $100,000 through AT&T Aspire. This exciting new collaboration will additionally provide seven All Star Code students, who will be named AT&T scholars, with scholarships, free laptops and supplies for embodying creativity, intellect and curiosity.
“Our boys are a tremendous pool of untapped talent. Teaching them to code is an investment that has unlimited potential return, whether in new ideas and innovation or increased economic opportunity, and we’re tremendously excited to have AT&T’s help in fostering the next generation of tech pioneers,” said Halpern.
“Confident, qualified young men of color who are ready to enter STEM careers are essential to the future of our business and our community,” said Nicole Anderson, executive director of philanthropy with AT&T. “All Star Code works to grow the field, and we are thrilled to support the program and our AT&T scholars.”
The benefit began with a cocktail reception and interactive, student-created game stations. The stations comprised games designed, coded and run by All Star Code students and alums and were enjoyed by a number of high-profile attendees, including Miss USA Olivia Jordan and “Real Housewife of New York” star Kristen Taekman.
Maurice DuBois, award-winning anchor of “CBS 2 This Morning,” hosted the awards ceremony over dinner provided by chef Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem. Co-Chair Loida Nicolas Lewis presented Frank A. Baker, co-founder and managing partner of Siris Capital Group, with the Visionary Award. Co-Chair Troy Carter, founder, chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, presented Goldman Sachs Gives with the Corporate Leadership Award. Co-Chair Valentino D. Carlotti accepted the award on behalf of Goldman Sachs Gives. Current All Star Code student Cameron King presented Marcus Mitchell with the Community Award. Mitchell is a senior engineering director at Google.
“What we’re doing at All Star Code is giving young men of color the tools to ride the wave,” said Halpern at the event. “It’s my belief that the indignities and injustices and inequalities that people of color in this country still endure can only be corrected once people of color have a fairer shot at a seat at the table. Until they have a fairer shot at chairing the table. A fairer shot at running the table.”