Coding from the inside out

“Technology… is the status of the current.”

Imagine that you are locked up for some crime you committed – even worse, imagine you are in a juvenile detention, a young person with most of your life before you and yet there seems to be nowhere to go. Once out of juvenile detention, what do you do – get a job? Go to college? The deck is stacked, and not in your favor.

There is a way out for some kids stuck in a place where they don’t belong – that way out may be coding. Marketplace Radio pays a visit to the Wyoming Girls’ School in Sheridan, Wyoming, and watches as some of the girls – inmates – kids – babies – work to to turn their lives around through writing computer code.

Don’t believe it? Listen to the determination in the voice of Shawnee, a fourteen-year-old who found herself locked up for five months by the time Marketplace showed up:

 “When people mediate they do that to come at peace with themselves,” she says, in a way that makes her sound much older than she is. “That’s kind of what coding is for me, it’s my meditation.”

Coding is music, is language, is commuication, expression, art. If juvenile detention is a place where kids don’t belong, then where they do belong is where they can realize their passion, their place in our world, and the value of the story they want to tell. Just like all of us.

David Kissinger consults with companies, trade associations, non-profits and entrepreneurs on external affairs, public relations, marketing, advocacy, IT strategy, web development and content.

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