Jake is already known around Dallas as a social entrepreneur. Skilled in computers and teaching, Jake decided to take his profitable computer programming summer camp and invest the proceeds back into a brand new, free programming camp for low-income kids. Tera Byte Outreach teaches basic computer programming skills through video game creation in a four-day seminar designed to give participants a real “camp experience,” with t-shirts, daily snacks, and a closing celebration complete with diplomas. With more than 1 million unfilled computer programming jobs projected nationwide by the year 2020, Tera Byte Outreach is teaching valuable, practical skills at a key time in students’ lives.
To make Tera Byte Outreach a reality, Jake persuaded several Dallas public schools—with a majority of students living under the poverty line—to provide space for Tera Byte Outreach camps and help recruit participants. He created a curriculum, installed teaching software on the school’s computers, and gathered and trained a group of ten volunteer teen counselors. Jake later expanded his reach to Israel, helping make programming and high-tech careers accessible to teens across the globe. In the four years after starting the project to winning the Award, Jake successfully expanded the size of Tera Byte Outreach from 15 students at one school to approximately 120 students across six schools.