Nonprofit founder cycling across country to open up educational opportunities for Central Valley residents
BY SABRA STAFFORD
Right about now Emmanuel Escamilla is probably thinking he’s never going to get out of Texas.
Escamilla is the founder of the Modesto-based CodeX Program is currently biking across the United States to support first-generation students with scholarships so they can further their education.
His journey began in September in San Francisco and will end sometime in November some 3,000 miles away from his starting pointing at St. Augustine, Florida.
Escamilla, a 2018 graduate from Harvard University, will be taking a year off to pursue this journey before attending business school next fall. He’ll be traversing through nine states over 50 days on this particular quest.
“To some, this bike journey may seem impossible,” Escamilla said. “But I chose to cross the country because it represents the journey many students take in trying to figure out how to get to college. For many first-generation students, they have the talent and work ethic to attend a university, but lack the tools, resources, and support to get there. For them, getting to college is like trying to ride a bike from California to Florida. It seems impossible, but there is a way.”
CodeX was founded with a single mission: to make tech education accessible in low-income communities. CodeX provides college and pre-career exposure to the tech sector for underserved students in the Central Valley. Through high energy, hands-on educational programs, CodeX equips students with foundational knowledge in computer science, inspiring them to pursue current opportunities to secure economic mobility. In furthering its mission, CodeX has worked to create school ecosystems to support students in their learning journey. By providing training opportunities for teachers and curriculum to assist school districts implement tech-focused courses, the hope of making tech education accessible in low-income communities is becoming a reality.
Since its founding in 2015, the nonprofit has garnered success by being awarded the Westly Prize for Young Innovators in California in 2016, and for its students winning the Congressional App Challenge in 2016 and 2017.
Now CodeX seeks to further its mission by inspiring students to finish their educational journey, by being the first in their family to attend college.
Escamilla is trying to make the way easier by fundraising to create a scholarship fund dedicated to students who will be the first in their family to attend college. As a first-generation student himself, he understands the difficulties of navigating a path to college. This was one of the reasons for the founding of the CodeX Program.
To donate or for more information, visit codexinspire.com.