Breakout Mentors exists to fill a void in today’s education for 10-15 year olds – computer programming. Many students don’t even know what computer science is until they get to college. This is simply too late. Programming provides a fun challenge while teaching valuable critical thinking skills and allowing for creativity unmatched in other school subjects.

Some parents are aware of terrific summer camps, clubs, or other opportunities for their children to receive an introduction to programming. However, we believe that a short 1-2 week summer camp is not enough. For true progress to be made, computer science should receive the same attention as subjects like math – that is, have a defined set of steps over many years.

Unfortunately schools today do not provide this. Some schools do offer an introductory course, but after the student does not have another class to take. A progression of courses do not exist like for math: pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, statistics, pre-calculus, followed by calculus.

What does Breakout Mentors provide?

Breakout Mentors fills this educational void. We work 1-on-1 with our students to provide fun projects and ensure they always have next steps to advance their computer science education.

We are able to keep the student highly engaged through personalized lessons. Is your kid interested in video games or movies? Are they artistic or analytic? This is a key advantage over schools that offer an introductory programming course – lectures with 30 students simply do not allow for the flexibility for each student to pursue his or her creative interests. In school classes every student works on the same project and the creativity is all but removed from the subject.

Breakout Mentors’ goal is to develop a sustained interest in programming. This interest is what drives continued progress in the subject and unlocks the many benefits such as college admission and job demand.

About the founder

Brian Skinner graduated from Stanford in 2008 with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in computer science. Like so many of my friends, I knew nothing of programming until taking the introductory course late in my freshman year. It is quite difficult to make a snap decision whether to major in a subject after only one course, but since I enjoyed it so much, whenever I had the opportunity I took additional computer science courses.

Would I have majored in it if I had the opportunity do it over? Probably. Many of my friends also wish they took more programming and started earlier in life. Living in the heart of technological innovation, I want the Silicon Valley’s students to have this advantage.