Improving people’s lives through water, coaching and code

By Dennis Clemente

Last July 30, Inside Startups showed what some people are doing to improve people’s lives, why people need each other, and what you can do with your life. Kunal Mehta of charity: water, Christina Lewis Halpern of All Star Code and Michael Miller of TeamPossible were guest speakers at the meetup held at Projective Space.

Mehta helps people in need of water. He found his true calling after leaving the financial world as an investment banker. So far, he said charity: water has done more than 12,000 projects in over 22 countries.

“If everyone in this room donates, 100 percent goes (to those in need),” said Mehta, who is also an author of the book, “Disruptors” about tech startups. “We have provided clean water to over 4 million people in developing countries.”

Hearing inspirational and motivational talk is not too common in a meetup, but Miller also went there, offering TeamPossible’s three life-coaching programs. For those who feel stuck, it offers an Executive Leadership & Life Coaching program. For seasoned executives and entrepreneurs looking to create something that matters, it has a Create Your Legacy program. Finally, it has a Scale Your Impact program for experts who have mastered their craft but are not achieving the results they want.

The meeting was certainly about coming unglued.

All Star Code’s Christina Lewis Halpern runs a new non-profit initiative that prepares qualified young men of color for full-time employment in the technology industry by providing mentorship, industry exposure, and intensive training in computer science.

All Star Code is passionate about closing the opportunity gap between minority males and the tech industry. As it is, African-Americans comprise less than 1% of startup founding teams, a critical sector for job growth and wealth creation.

Also, there are few tech careers that focus on under-represented male youths of any ethnic background.
So All Star Code offers a six-week intensive summer experience for high school male students in New York City. Twenty students in New York City will attend a program in the summer of 2014.

The curriculum will have a rigorous computer science course, but also a soft-skills curriculum (leadership, innovation, team-work.) to help its students stand out years later when they enter the talent pipeline of top companies.

For Halpern, giving young African-Americans an early introduction to the world of technology provides a mode of entry to an industry that has been closed to them.

The meetup was hosted Ali Nicolas.

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Dennis Clemente

Shuttling between New York and other US cities, Dennis writes about tech meetups when he's not too busy working as a Web Developer/Producer + UX Writer and Digital Marketer.

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