Oct. 12, 2015 By Christian Murray
The Coalition for Queens (C4Q), a Long Island City-based nonprofit that provides hi-tech training for immigrants and low-income adults, is hosting its third-annual fundraiser at MoMA PS 1 Wednesday night.
More than 300 attendees are expected, including Queens-based entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and representatives from high-tech firms.
The goal of the night is twofold: to showcase the success of the students who have been through C4Q’s free program; and to raise funds so the non-profit can continue to provide free education to a diverse group of students.
C4Q’s flagship training program is called “Access Code,” where 60 students are taught coding and tech skills each year. The free course is nine-months long, with students taking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (7-10 pm) and on Saturdays and Sundays 10-6 pm.
There is a strong focus on mobile app development.
The cost to educate each student is $18,000.
However, according to C4Q’s website, the return on the investment is good. The average annual income of graduates increases significantly– from $26,000 to $73,000.
The students admitted to the course represent a very diverse group, according to Candice Porter, with C4Q. Between 50-60 percent of the students are black or Hispanic, Porter said, with 50 percent being immigrants. The average age is early to mid 20s, she said.
“The goal is to increase diversity in the tech community,” Porter said.
There is also a focus on low income applicants who don’t have four year degrees. No previous experience in programming is required.
A great deal of weight is given to the interview process given the range of backgrounds of candidates, Porter said.
The organization also holds a monthly tech meet up, where individuals are able to network and keep up to date with the latest developments in the industry. Typically, about 150 people attend each month.
C4Q gets a great deal of funding from groups such as the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Arbor Brothers, the Robin Hood Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs, the Gimbel Foundation and the New York City Council.
In 2014, C4Q raised $1.6 million for the year, of which $100,000 came from the tech bash.
The event takes place Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7 pm at MoMA PS1. Tickets can be purchased online.
More on C4Q
C4Q Access Code from Coalition for Queens (C4Q) on Vimeo.