Two years ago, Aaron Saunders had the opportunity to host a summer hackathon in the DC neighborhood of Anacostia for kids in underserved communities, sponsored by his mobile solutions company Clearly Innovative. The event was a massive success that taught the kids how to build mobile applications, but there was one disappointing element for Saunders: the really interested kids had no way to further their passion.
That’s when fate came knocking on his front door and he had the chance to fill in for a middle school math teacher who was out for the semester at Howard University Middle School. Saunders went in and taught the kids about technology and mobile apps because most had never even heard of a developer, much less understood what they do.
When the program came to a close, Saunders was invited back to do it again the next year in a more structured fashion. Now, Clearly Innovative employees volunteers two days a week teaching UI design, Java Script, and even mobile web apps.
At this year’s SXSW, Saunders gave us a detailed look at how he impressed the importance of this skill set on his students. That is, he told the students that if you’re using a phone every day, maybe you should wonder how all the different apps work.
Here’s the video: