LIMA — For some young people in the Lima community, there is a feeling that their path is already carved out for them. A new program coming to the Bradfield Community Center is hoping to inspire those young people to know that their future is up to them and not written in stone.
“It’s about exposure,” Bradfield Community Center Executive Director Kesha Drake said. “Some people out of high school have never been shown what avenues they can take. There was a girl I was working with two years ago, and in her head, she knew she was going to graduate and get a job in manufacturing. That was her whole thinking her senior year. I told her that if she wanted to do that, that’s fine, but I wanted to show her options.”
Starting in January, the community center will offer “Club Code,” a computer coding class for area students in the sixth to 12th grades. Gaining skills in computer programming can open doors to many career paths, Drake said.
“Coding is writing computer programs,” she said. “You are telling a computer how to do something step by step. Think about manufacturing. They put in a program, and the robots on that line do that step by step. So these are skills they will come away with. It’s a process of creating a set of instructions that computers then perform.”
Drake said this 18-week course, affiliated with Girls Who Code Clubs and made possible by a United Way innovation grant, will be offered at no cost, giving everyone the opportunity to participate. Drake also emphasized that, while Girls Who Code is affiliated with the program, the course will be open to both female and male students.
“It’s open to whomever,” she said. “There’s no fees associated with the program, and we don’t look at income level to determine who can take advantage of this.”
To date, Drake has not been taking applications for the program. Instead, she will hold an informational session from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10 for interested families. From there, the program will begin, featuring one 90-minute class per week. At this point, Drake said the class will be held on Wednesdays.
To learn more about the program, contact the Bradfield Center at 419-228-7766.