CS@SC Camps impact on nearly 7,000 students

The CS@SC Camps moved into its 7th year in 2021. The camps were run remotely for the second year due to the pandemic, but summer 2021 was the largest summer ever, reaching over 1,500 K12 students. The camps have educated nearly 7,000 students since its inception in computer programming, robotics, and digital security. Students learn different topics based on their age, with elementary school students learning Scratch Jr. and Scratch, middle school students learning Web Development, and high schooler students learning Java and Python.

Summer 2021 was a momentous session for CS@SC. Two of our CS@SC campers from previous years are currently attending USC, and they became TAs for the Camps! Chloe Stonecipher (https://youtu.be/I1Hc5O7Pfrc) and Cami Cornelio (https://youtu.be/CzGjj_LdDZM) tell their stories and how the CS@SC Camps have influenced decisions they have made about the college to attend and their majors.

With the passing of long-time supporter Jim Valentine in early 2021, the Institute for Education and the CS@SC Camps started a scholarship in his name. The Jim Valentine Scholarship is awarded to students who exhibit qualities similar to Jim, including resilience as a visionary, an entrepreneur, and a risk-taker. The inaugural scholarship came with an award of a free CS@SC camp, or for rising high school seniors, covering the application fee for applying to USC. The scholarship was provided to 13 students from over 1,500 who attended in summer 2021 and one teaching assistant.

  • Scratch Jr. – Cali Royal, Penelope Jen
  • Scratch – Alyssa Lee, Derek Julian, Ethan Heng, Jayvien Valdez, Nikita Sokolov
  • Web Development – Allison Kalmick, Jack Zhang
  • Python – Anna Poghosyan, Daniel Weiss, Lydia Qin
  • Java – Kosisochukwu Njoku
  • Computer Security – Ella Santoro
  • TA – Aurana Lo  

“…With his qualities of being a visionary, an entrepreneur, a risk-taker, winning, losing, resiliency, I congratulate you all…for your commitment, for your passion to keep this going.”

Coach Kathy Kemper

More information about the Jim Valentine Scholarship, including a video of the awards ceremony is provided at https://summercamp.usc.edu/jim-valentine-scholarship/.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the CS@SC Camps wrapped up summer 2021 with a panel discussion moderated by the CS@SC Camps co-director, Prof. Nayeon Kim. The panelists were:

  • Coach Kathy Kemper – Founder of the Institute for Education and Founding Donor for the CS@SC Camps
  • Megan Smith – Founder of Shift-7 and Former Chief Technology Officer of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama
  • Derek Richardson – Founder of the Why Can’t We Make a Difference Foundation
  • Prof. Jeffrey Miller – Founding Director of the CS@SC Camps and Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology Practice at the University of Southern California

The discussion included how to get more K12 students interested in computer science regardless of gender, ethnicity, and family income. A video of the panel discussion is available at https://youtu.be/UnV0HOMLEWo .

The CS@SC Camps is continuing the momentum from summer with fall, winter, and spring camps after school and on weekends. The success of the CS@SC Camps could not be possible without the generous support of Coach Kathy Kemper and the Institute for Education. For more information, see https://summercamp.usc.edu.

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