Headshot photo of Gideon Buddenhagen
2022 Award Recipient


Project Leadership In Motion

Location Oakland, CA

Issue Area Racial Justice | Technology

As a bi-racial Jew of color, Gideon is motivated to build equitable systems that lift up marginalized communities of color. After participating in Google’s Code Next computer science program, Gideon was inspired by instructors who looked like him. Seeing computer engineers of color thrive while supporting youth of similar identities led him to start Leadership in Motion.

The initiative aims to foster an interest in computer science among middle schoolers who may not typically be exposed to the field of technology and for high schoolers to develop leadership skills by creating opportunities to teach the next generation of ethnically diverse computer scientists. Leadership in Motion’s teenage mentors successfully taught nine weeks of computer coding curriculum to middle school students while developing formative personal leadership skills.

Characteristics of my identity have developed my personal understanding of tikkun olam: building equitable systems to uplift marginalized people of color. I wanted to offer opportunities to learn about computer science as a pathway out of poverty and show these students cool, smart role models who look like them.

Gideon Buddenhagen
Screenshot of Gideon's website.

Leadership In Motion

Gideon noticed a disconnect where students of color lacked access to technology education as well as mentors who looked like them. By creating Leadership in Motion, Gideon aimed to address this disparity, creating a pathway to leadership for older students and unique learning opportunities for younger students. Leadership in Motion’s successful pilot phase connected low-income middle school students with high school students of color for a nine-week technology education program with Google. His program is now being adopted under Google’s Code Next offerings.

Gideon Buddenhagen sitting in front of a laptop.