A Chadwick Student Champions More Access to Education and Mentorship in the World of Coding

Programming hope.

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    Tanya Monaghan

In a world increasingly shaped by technology, the ability to code is not just a skill; it’s a gateway to opportunity, creativity and empowerment. Yet for many young minds in underserved communities, this gateway remains locked behind barriers of access and privilege. 

Code to Grow Foundation (CTG) offers a beacon of light, illuminating the path toward equitable coding education. The genesis of this incredible organization stems from a local 16-year-old visionary and Chadwick student, Jack Segil.

At the heart of CTG’s mission lies a commitment to providing yearlong coding and mentorship opportunities to students ages 9 to 14 in underserved communities and school districts. Through their initiatives, CTG aims to level the playing field—ensuring that every child, regardless of background or financial means, has the chance to explore the boundless possibilities of coding.

Jack’s love affair with coding began in fourth grade when his parents enrolled him in his first coding camp at PlanetBravo. However, as he progressed through school, Jack couldn’t help noticing a stark lack of diversity in the coding landscape. Determined to break down these barriers, Jack envisioned a future where coding education was free and inclusive for all. 

“Coding has become my passion, so why shouldn’t everyone have an equal opportunity to make it their passion too?” he ponders.

With that unwavering commitment and the support of his family, Jack founded Code to Grow Foundation. “From a young age, I was taught the importance of tzedakah, or charity, and how we should strive to do as much as we can to give back in our lives,” he shares.

Teaming up with PlanetBravo, CTG embarked on a mission to extend coding opportunities and ignite engagement in underserved communities. By removing financial barriers and raising awareness, CTG aims to expand access to coding education for students who may otherwise be left behind. 



“What Jack has been able to do with Code to Grow is something we’ve never been able to do ourselves,” says Danny Pezzotta, director of PlanetBravo. “The main barrier we face running a computer science summer program is offering it in communities that are accessible to everyone, especially those in need. Jack’s program has been able to both find enthusiastic applicants and get them to camp.”

However, this can only be achieved with funding. One of the biggest grants CTG was awarded came from First Media, a company that committed $150,000 over three years. Sharon Rechter, the firm’s president, says, “At First Media, we strive to solve problems at scale and create a long-term effect. Code to Grow does just that. We saw true potential in Jack Segil to be one of those people who can truly make a difference in this world.” 

Beyond offering a scholarship-based camp, CTG goes the extra mile by pairing students with coding mentors—ensuring their educational journey continues far beyond the confines of a classroom. Faralee Gabourel, mother of CTG student Shiloh, says, “Participating in the Code to Grow program has opened up a whole new world for my son. He has learned that coding is not a skill possessed by a particular subset of society but rather a fun, collaborative subject that—like any other school subject—can be learned and mastered.”

In addition to expanding CTG, Jack plans to major in computer science—exploring a world where the language of the future is written in code. CTG is rewriting the narrative one line at a time through its unwavering dedication to equitable access and transformative education. In doing this, CTG team members are not just teaching code; they are nurturing dreams, empowering futures and unleashing the full potential of every child they touch.

To learn more, visit codetogrow.org.