Adi sidapara india & usa, 16
project: refugee code academy
basic human needs: education
Theme Song: “Amerika” by Young the Giant
Moving to the United States from India as a child, Adi experienced the struggles of adjusting to a new society. Having moved by choice, he felt compassion for refugees who had been forced to relocate, disadvantaged by cultural and educational differences. Recognizing technology as an equalizing force in today’s world, he and his peer Omron formed Refugee Code Academy. Through computer science and entrepreneurship training, events, job placement and mentorships, they equip refugees with the tools and education to succeed in their new homes. Hundreds of refugees in Arizona have participated in their events, and by involving their communities in this process, Refugee Code Academy is replacing cultural clashes with collaboration. Creating skilled developers allows local businesses to source employees from within their communities and strengthen their local micro-economies. In return, these companies provide the Academy access to professionals in the tech field who mentor refugees in the program. Adi continues to build partnerships, including with Ironyard Coding Bootcamps to offer personalized curriculum for interested refugees, and with the United Nations Refugee Agency to work in one of the largest refugee camps in the world in Nyarugusu, Tanzania. The Academy has recently garnered support from over a dozen entrepreneurship hubs across sub-Saharan Africa to educate refugees and connect them to western tech companies. Moving forward, Adi is further developing the Academy’s mentorship program and spreading outreach to engage even more refugees.