Center for Social Entrepreneurship

at Middlebury

Empower with Code

Patrick Tang ’17 (Formerly James Sun’s Project)

Toronto, Canada

See Patrick’s CSE Grant Report 2014


Project Overview

Empower with Code is a college-led student mentorship program designed for low-income, at-risk youths. For two months, teens are taught JavaScript through our partnership platforms like Code.org and CodeSchool. Through coding, we hope to bridge educational disparity and teach teens basic problem solving skills, logic thinking abilities, and improve their academic performance. At the end of the program, teens are rewarded with either a Chromebook or a $250 Stipend to build a computer with their mentor. We currently work with 12 students from Middlebury since inception in January. So far, we’ve found that teens are initially attracted by the monetary incentive of a laptop, but as sessions continue, they become more interested in coding and the relationships they’ve built with the mentor. Some students actually begin to help other teens as they gain confidence in their coding abilities.”

James Sun is a young entrepreneur with an insatiable hunger for learning. By combining his passion for entrepreneurship and non-profit, he has created and managed national initiatives that have represented over 200,000 youths and helped raise over $100,000. At the international stage, he has worked with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs to pitch Canadian investment opportunities to international CEOs and investors. He is currently the Founder and Chief Education Officer at Empower with Code, a manager at FlashStock and an incoming TEC Fellow with True Ventures. In addition, he has designed two entrepreneurship and businesses classes for Middlebury College which will be taught in Fall 2014.

James has received the Schulich Leader Scholarship, the largest entrepreneurial scholarship in Canada, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which recognizes Canadians who have made a significant contributions to community.

Because of James’ scholarship this summer, Patrick Tang ’17 will be leading the Empower with Code project.

Patrick Tang ’17

Toronto, Canada

Patrick Tang has always loved serving others. In high school he was a peer tutor, helping students with mathematics and French, and on weekends he volunteered in patient hospitality at the Scarborough Hospital. His engagement in these activities was fueled by the smiles across the faces of those he has aided. Through Empower with Code, he hopes to continue to help others- this time by actively engaging youth from the Middlebury community.

As an Economics and Mathematics double major, he enjoys tackling challenges-deconstructing them into simpler problems, solving those, and then reconstructing the final solution from those pieces. Since computer science shares many similarities, he hopes that through this mentorship program students will develop a similar passion for problem solving.


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