GIFT OF CODE believes that every young person should have an opportunity to succeed by having access to a computer, internet, and quality training.
We give underprivileged youth a computer, monitor, mouse, and internet service. We provide them with the right mentors, computer programming trainings, and assist with internship & employment opportunities.
We support our projects by offering affordable online and in-person workshops, classes, coding events, and trainings to the public.
50% of our profits goes to the Gift of C.O.D.E. projects that helps inner city youth, foster kids, and kids from third world countries.
The Gift of C.O.D.E. Projects
Gift of Code began with a parent’s love. In a world where kids are born with smartphones in their hands and iPads in their cribs, computer programming is becoming the new literacy. It is the language of our world. In the future, not knowing the language of computers will be as challenging as being illiterate or innumerate are today.
Determined to give his three-year-old daughter, Emma, a solid foundation and a head start, a computer programmer named Ounie Phakousonh started CoderDojo OC in Orange County, CA. CoderDojo is a global network of free computer programming clubs for young people. At a CoderDojo, young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. Dojos are set up, run by and taught at by volunteers usually once a month.
Ounie found that his daughter loves coding especially when she's building her My Little Pony apps. Other parents also found that their kids enjoy coding. However, many parents and kids wanted more than once a month coding classes taught at CoderDojo. Ounie agreed that one Saturday a month is not enough for kids to learn to code effective. Therefore, with his brothers, Ha and Da, Ounie started a for-profit coding school for kids called Kids Code Academy. Within 2 years, Ounie and his team have taught hundreds of kids coding via workshops, summer camps, code-a-thons, computer clubs, and schools across Orange County, CA.
Kids Code Academy is located in Irvine and Newport Beach, CA. Most of the Kids Code Academy students are from affluent families who's parents are founders, CEOs, CTOs, software engineers, financial advisors, investors, real estate tycoons, politicians, or other high paying positions. Ounie started "Gift of Code" in hope to provide the same level of coding education to other young people in other neighborhoods and countries.
Ounie Phakousonh came from a poor family. He's a first-generation immigrant from a poor third world country, Laos, in southeast Asia. His parents were farmers with no more than a 3rd grade education. At 5 years old, his family fled to a refugee camp in Thailand to seek political asylum. Ounie and his family were sponsored (adopted) by parishioners of a Christian church in Buffalo, NY. Their sponsors helped the family find a place to live in a low income neighborhood in the westside of Buffalo and also helped his father with a job as a janitor in an elementary school. His mother worked odd jobs like baby sitting, picking nightcrawlers (large earthworms) and selling them to fish shops along the Niagara river.
Even thou their mother only had a 3rd grade education she stressed the importance of education. Ounie was fortunate to attend City Honors School, one of the best magnet schools in the nation. Attending CHS gave Ounie the opportunity to make friends who parents were attorneys, doctors, and business owners. This allowed him to see how the other side lived and it motivated him to do better in life for him and his family. Ounie graduated from the University of Buffalo with a degree in Business with a concentration in Management Information Systems.
After college, Ounie worked as a SQL Server Database Administrator and as a Oracle Database Developer for Robert Half International in Buffalo, NY before moving to Orange County, CA and becoming a Manager at Quest Software (now Dell Software). Ounie is the founder of School of Devs, a web and mobile development immersive bootcamp, and Kids Code Academy, coding school for kids.