Recently, the Delano City Recreational Center implemented a coding program for incoming, current, and recently graduated high school students called Delano’s Developers. The program’s goal is to teach students about the basics of coding in Python, a programming language. To learn more about the program and why it was created, Kern Sol News youth reporter Gurnoor Bhatti spoke with Karlo Igarta, a Delano native and an instructor for the coding camp. Igarta graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Data Science and a minor in City and Regional Planning.
Q: Why did you decide to work on creating a coding camp?
A: This coding class wasn’t my original idea initially, so I can’t take credit for that. I had a lot of friends during college who tutored at local high schools through a few on-campus organizations. Some of them even taught students computer science, and I thought that would be something interesting to introduce to students in Delano. However, I never thought about being the one to teach it until Marivel Servin reached out to me a few months ago about this idea that Gurnoor Bhatti had. I set up a meeting with Marivel and Mayor Osorio soon after that and have been working on building this class ever since.
Q: Why did you decide to give back to Delano?
A: Relative to the population of Delano youth, I believe that there is a lack of college graduates from Delano willing to come back and mentor students about higher education. I feel fortunate to have a brother who also pursued higher education years before I did. He was able to guide me through the process, but many students don’t have that resource. No matter what your post-high school plans look like, I think it’s important to have solid mentors to help you navigate through life’s next steps.
Q: What do you hope will come out of this coding camp?
A: My hope is that students will be able to feel more comfortable with computer science when and if they ever take a CS class in college. I really struggled when I took my first CS class because up until that semester, I had never been exposed to that kind of material before. It took me quite some time before I was able to get the hang of it. Students won’t leave the class with complete mastery over Python, but I hope that I’ll be able to expose them to enough of the basics so that the learning curve won’t be as steep later on. My long-term hope is that high schools in Delano start offering Computer Science classes to their students.
Q: What would you like Delano youth to be aware of?
A: You have a lot of time to decide on a college, major, career, etc., but with each passing year, you have a little bit less time. Gradually make intentional decisions about your future. Not that you have to have your whole life planned out, but even just joining a school organization, volunteering somewhere, reading a book, or talking to your friends who have similar goals can help inform future decisions.
Q: Any additional comments?
A: Stay tuned for future updates regarding this class in the future! You can find more information about the class on the City of Delano Recreation Facebook or Instagram page. Thank you to everyone who has helped me with this project thus far.