Clearly Innovative Education and Connect.DC — Digital Inclusion Initiative

Aaron Saunders
3 min readJun 29, 2018

The Coding and Entrepreneurship Program that Connect.DC is partnering with Clearly Innovative Inc on has a goal to provide education, mentorship and a positive learning environment that engages and teaches technical and entrepreneurial skills to students of all backgrounds. The program teaches students to brainstorm mobile app ideas and build mobile app prototypes. Students also learn to pitch and present their ideas to industry professionals. Students gain experience with basic programming through instructors and online coding tools and use their knowledge to create mobile solutions to community problems.

Highlights of the program are outlined below and we look forward to our upcoming summer program to provide more students in Washington DC the opportunity to explore potential opportunities in STEM.

  • The program was hosted at Inclusive Innovation Incubator which is a physical manifestation of all of the work my team and I have worked on over the last ten years here in Washington DC to create a more inclusive innovation ecosystem for entrepreneurs, technologist and creatives
  • 16 high school students, all of whom are DC residents, participated in the program. (15 students completed the program)
  • Schools represented included McKinley Tech, Wilson High School, Thurgood Marshall Academy, French International School, School Without Walls, Washington Latin Public Charter School, DC International School, St. Vincent Pallotti, Somerset Prep Public Charter School and Cesar Chavez High School
  • The program met weekly on Saturdays from 10:00 am — 3:00 pm from April 21 — June 16 at In3. Instruction was provided by Christopher King, recent MBA grad and social enterprise entrepreneur, and Rachel Decoste, experienced software developer.
  • Students worked in collaborative teams to create mobile app prototypes. App ideas were as follows:
  • “Trakr”: A real-time crime reporting app
  • “Present”: A productivity app to combat smart phone addiction
  • “Good Eats”: A restaurant app to help teens find good restaurants
  • “PostEd”: A communication app to help students share class notes, ask questions and share class materials
  • “Clothes 4 All” Fashion app to help low-income individuals find affordable, high-quality clothing
  • The crime reporting app, known as Trakr, was the winning team. Team members were Matthieu Louat (9th grade, French International School), Samuel Johnson (11th grade, Somerset Prep Public Charter School) and Demetrius Sharpe (9th grade, Cesar Chavez High School)

Although the spring program has concluded, we are running a summer program. For more information and access to the application please see link below. Application close June 29th

What is Clearly Innovative Education?

Clearly Innovative Education is a minority owned tech education arm of Clearly Innovative, Inc. that exposes students to the tech community through programming that engages and teaches an array of technical and entrepreneurial skills.

We provide education, mentorship and positive learning spaces for children and adults. Clearly Innovative Education offers curriculum to students through after-school programs, summer camps and workshops for participants committed to joining the innovation economy. Our program exposes students to all facets of technology including lean startup principles, user experience, software development, and product management.

Clearly Innovation Education and other outreach programs offered through Inclusive Innovation Incubator are made possible through support from the Luma Innovation Foundation For Entrepreneurship. This 501(c) 3 raises funds to support untapped and under-resourced individuals by improving access to an ecosystem of opportunity, including training, capital, and other services to enhance their ability to succeed in the innovation & entrepreneurial economy

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