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The Innovation League will return for its second consecutive year. Photo Courtesy of Coded by Kids.
The Innovation League will return for its second consecutive year. Photo Courtesy of Coded by Kids.

Two local organizations join forces to open doors in tech and innovation for Philly youth

Coded by Kids and BUILD.org are partnering for the second consecutive year to launch the Innovative League program to help teens strengthen their skills.

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There are many different industries that young individuals can look to that serve as examples of successful, high-earning careers.

However, for many, the access and exposure to certain career paths are underrepresented. 

To address this, two organizations — Coded by Kids (CbK) and BUILD.org — are partnering together to expand opportunities for both children and adults.

For the second consecutive year, the organizations are launching the Innovation League, a program that engages Philadelphia’s youth to use technology to create innovative solutions and build businesses. 

“We want our young people in Philadelphia to look at technology and innovation in the same way they look at sports and entertainment,” said Sylvester Mobley, Coded by Kids founder and CEO, in a statement. “We want them to see it as competitive and exciting, and most importantly, accessible.”

The program is a part of the 1Philadelphia initiative, the citywide initiative that connects funders, employers, schools and community organizations together to build an equitable tech and innovation education system for Philadelphia residents. 

The Innovation League is open to 60 high school students across the city, and as part of the program, students will attend weekly practices and events and compete with other teams. 

To qualify, students must attend a high school in Philadelphia, teams must be between 3-5 members, submitted projects must not have been previously submitted for other contests or competitions, and students must attend the weekly practices, as teams will be disqualified from the competition after three unexcused absences. 

At the practices, students will learn and apply principles of design thinking, project management and creative program solving to proposed weekly projects and challenges. In teams, the students will then build prototypes, design solutions and present ideas at monthly competitions. 

Thais Rezende, President at BUILD.org, said she is “honored” to partner with CbK on this important program. 

“We want all students to have the opportunity to discover the entrepreneurial mindset and develop the key digital skills they need to create innovative businesses,” said Rezende. 

Students will be assigned mentors from local tech companies, and at the end of the season, the teams with the highest rankings will compete in the Innovation Bowl, the league’s culminating championship event. The teams will compete for a $5,000 cash grand prize. 

The second and third place prizes are $3,000 and $2,000, respectively. The audience choice prize is worth $1,000. 

Registration is free and is now open for Philly high school students until Friday, September 23. 

To register or learn more about the program and the upcoming season’s schedule, click here

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