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Trip Report: C/I Young Entrepreneur Leadership Summit

October 13, 2014 by

From Saturday October 11 – Sunday October 12, students from 12 C/I schools gathered for the first Young Entrepreneur Leadership Summit of the 2014-2015 school year. This inaugural group of students camped out for a night at Senior Google Engineer Doug Rohde’s house in Westchester, New York to build websites about what it takes to be a leader at C/I.

These 24 students were introduced to their project on Saturday morning at the C/I Tech + Trek Center in the Bronx, where they met with their teams and decided what leadership characteristics they felt were important to help their classmates when they returned to school.

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“As a leader you are responsible for keeping your team on track and being there for them at all times,” wrote Mayline Pena, a junior at Fordham High School for the Arts. “Dedication is what leads you and your team to success.” On Sunday, Mayline was voted “most valuable coder” on her four-person team for the weekend, proving that she could successfully put her leadership into actions.

C/I’s Young Entrepreneur Summits exist to bring their coding experiences to life; giving students who learn computer science in their classrooms the chance to work in teams surrounded by mentors on a project that will live on in their C/I portfolios. These retreats happen three times per year, most recently in Montauk at The Surf Lodge for C/I’s summer students as reported in this blog post.


Surrounded by nature, students also navigated through Rockefeller State Preserve, cheered on team mates on a rope swing, set up tents together, and prepared meals for one another. These future tech leaders even learned about sustainable food from Blue Hill at Stone Barns and from Doug’s personal gardens!

On Sunday afternoon, each team professionally presented their web pages, just as they will present their web pages and leadership guides to each of their school cohorts. As Naquia Dawson, a Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School sophomore, explained, she will use her leadership skills to “encourage my classmates to keep trying and be even better at coding than before.”


Special thanks to Doug Rohde and his family for hosting C/I students this weekend, to the Sierra Club Inspiring Connection Outdoors volunteers Sharon Dhillon, Liz, and Hilary Fung, and to our C/I teachers for accompanying us for a fun weekend in Westchester.

To volunteer at C/I’s next event, the AT&T Mobile C/I Hackathon at Google, please visit our volunteer page.


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