New & Newsworthy
9/16/19 - We have some amazing news to share! The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people from across the U.S. and Canada who have made a significant positive difference to people and the environment. This year, the prize organizers decided to “double down on goodness” by doubling the Barron Prize from $5,000 to $10,000 to spark a wave of goodness! And today they announced that we are 2019 winners! Read more at https://barronprize.org/. We are so grateful for their support, and thrilled to be joining the Young Heroes family. ♥
8/21/19 - Thank you to Orange Coast Magazine for featuring Open Sesame Coding for Kids in their August issue. We sure appreciate the support!
University High School students Katherine McPhie, 17, left, and Milan Narula, 16, were separately volunteering at homeless shelters when they realized disadvantaged children might be left behind technologically. Last year, they joined to create Open Sesame Coding for Kids, an award-winning service organization that recruits and trains high school and college students to teach computer skills to underserved children in homeless and domestic violence shelters. “We really want these kids to feel like they have options,” Katherine says. “Just to have their confidence grow in feeling like they can do this … that’s really empowering.”
Organizations that partner with Open Sesame to recruit volunteers
Growing number of volunteers, from 12 schools
Hours of coding instruction provided to children so far
Shelters across six O.C. cities that receive coding and computer skills clinics
Homeless schoolchildren in Orange County
5/6/19 - We won!!! Thank you, Ashoka, for awarding us $1,000 and an all-expense paid trip to the two-day intensive Changemaker Movement Building Workshop hosted by General Motors in Detroit. What an amazing weekend!
@ashokachangemakers @STEM4changemaking #LeadYoung
4/5/19 - We are thrilled to announce that General Motors and Ashoka have selected us as a 2019 STEM for Changemaking Challenge Winner! We will be attending the GM STEM for Changemaking Summit in Detroit on May 2-4, and we couldn’t be more excited!
3/29/2019 - Wonderful news! Today the Orange County Women Lawyers Association selected us to win their 2019 Philanthropy Award. This generous award in the amount of $1,868 will allow us to purchase much needed computer equipment as we expand to more homeless and domestic violence shelters to help more children in need in Orange County. Thank you, OCWLA, for this amazing support. ♥
3/20/2019 - Thank you, Irvine Weekly, for covering our work. “Open Sesame,” the immortal words of Ali Baba, is a phrase frequently used to represent the secret code to open any door. In Irvine, two high schoolers have taken this common phrase to represent their own kind of code, a code that could help underprivileged children push their way out of poverty and homelessness, and open the door to a future of their own design. Their code, however, is a bit more complex than a couple of magic words. Keep reading. ♥
3/6/2019 - Last month we put out a request on Nextdoor.com for used computers. Thank you to everyone who responded so generously! In a true win-win, our volunteers picked up and refurbished a variety of electronics that we have already started using during our coding workshops. As Code Open Sesame grows, we continue to need both laptop and desktop computers, so please contact us if you have any old electronics you would like to donate. Thank you! ♥
2/23/19 - When the Youth Leadership Council asked us to help our youngest community members at today’s Science Tech Engineering Art Math Festival, we were all over it! Pretend City knows how to throw a party — thanks for having us!
2/1/19 - On behalf of the California State Assembly, Assemblyman Steven Choi recognized Open Sesame Coding for Kids for its work helping disadvantaged children in California. Dr. Choi and his senior policy advisor, Ms. Carrie O’Malley, presented the award during an Open Sesame Coding for Kids computer skills clinic at a temporary shelter in Garden Grove this evening.
1/2/19 - We are thrilled to announce that the GO Campaign has awarded a generous $2700 grant to Open Sesame Coding for Kids to continue its work bringing coding to disadvantaged children throughout Orange County. What a wonderful start to the new year! Congratulations to Milan and Katherine who have been named “Local Heroes” with GO for 2019.
12/31/18 - Wow! We just found out that we are on this year’s list of Top 100 Most Influential People in Orange County. What an honor! We are humbled and grateful. Thank you to everyone who has supported our mission to serve children in need in our community by teaching coding at homeless and domestic violence shelters.