May 19, 2022 (CHICAGO) —Code Nation, which prepares high school students living in under-resourced communities for high-wage careers in tech, will locate its Chicago office at The Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), on the 20th floor of 200 S. Wacker Drive, starting June 1.
The move will follow DPI hosting Code Nation’s second annual Chicago Hackathon Saturday. (RSVP here.) This all-day event will bring together more than 125 Chicago Public School students, 50 volunteers and 11 sponsors. Students will spend the entire day coding a project from start to finish and then present their project to the judges.
The last Hackathon, “Code the Movement,” included 70 students with projects focused on social movements that were important to them. This year’s theme is a surprise and will be revealed at the start of Saturday’s event.
The Hackathon is a powerful experience that helps students crystalize the learning they’ve been doing in Code Nation classrooms for a year and deepens their excitement for technology careers.
“We are building a hive of activity in downtown Chicago with tech and education organizations that share our mission and passion,” said DPI executive director Bill Jackson. “Like DPI, Code Nation understands that the tech workforce is not diverse enough and is dedicated to providing free courses and work experiences to high school students from under-resourced communities.”
The lease agreement follows a similar agreement with the Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit announced last month.
“DPI’s downtown location – steps from public transportation – is ideal for us and the young people who participate in our programs,” said Shane Morris, Managing Director of Code Nation Chicago. “We’re excited for the cross-pollination opportunities that will come from co-location, and we’re eager to create seamless pathways for Code Nation students into DPI’s post-secondary training programs.”
The Discovery Partners Institute empowers people to jumpstart their tech careers or companies in Chicago. Led by the University of Illinois System in partnership with top research universities, it does three things: Train people for high-demand tech jobs; conduct applied R&D; and support Chicago’s tech community. With state investment and a new innovation district in development, DPI has the resources to attract, develop, and leverage the most ambitious people and companies the region has to offer — and keep them here.
About Code Nation
Code Nation is a national nonprofit organization that equips students in under-resourced high schools with the skills, experiences, and connections that together create access to careers in technology. Our vision is for youth from low-income and under-represented backgrounds in tech to have equitable access to a career in their local tech sector, where they can realize economic security and lend their unique perspective to building our future.