The Wide Range of Kid Coders Starting with a New Mentor

The Wide Range of Kid Coders Starting with a New Mentor

The school year is chugging along and Breakout Mentors has already paired dozens of kids with new coding mentors. For some students this is their very first time programming and others we have worked with for years.

Our goal is to personalize the coding education for each student. Instead of set classes or tracks that are never a perfect fit, we provide a one-on-one mentor to smoothly pick up with the child’s current level of experience.

To give you an idea of the range of students, here are just a few who have started with a new mentor this school year.

Two 13 Year-Old Girls Hesitant to Try Coding

Some of our students aren’t so sure if coding is their thing. Maybe even think it sounds dull. The personal connection and guidance with Breakout Mentors can be a great way to dive in, especially with a friend.

These two middle school girls tried coding over the summer with our personalized camp format: a mentor traveled to their house in Piedmont for 3 hours a day for 1 week. By the end they made solid progress learning Python and enjoyed their first experience coding. Now they are meeting 2-on-1 with a UC Berkeley mentor each week.

An 8 Year-Old Boy Diving into Scratch

3rd grade is the youngest age we work with, usually doing Scratch drag-and-drop coding. This student from Fremont has a father who is a professional programmer and showed him a little already.

Even though his father could teach him, they want the consistency and fun-factor of meeting a mentor at Stanford University.

An Experienced 14 Year-Old Learning Java Over Video Conference

The student has been with Breakout Mentors 3 years, starting with Scratch, then Python, and now Java. This is a pretty typical progression for our students who stick with it. Now he is working on some more advanced concepts while still making fun projects.

They live in the Bay Area but with 4 kids, traveling to the college is tough, so he meets via video conference.

A 10 Year-Old Boy In-Home in San Francisco

We have a few talented mentors at University of San Francisco, right in the heart of SF. This mentor travels a few miles by Uber to the student’s house to work with him in Scratch.

SF cable car

A 15 Year-Old Girl Coding with Breakout Mentors for Years

What happens after a kid learning to code has mastered the fundamentals? The obvious option is more advanced Computer Science, for example covering many of the concepts in the AP CS A course. We certainly do this with some students, but more often we feel it is valuable to focus on an area that will not be covered by their high school or college coursework.

She is set to learn full-stack web development with one of our most experienced mentors – a former course assistant at Stanford now working for a startup in San Francisco. This focus will allow her to see how coding is actually used in the real-world, not just the classroom. She is very creative and will be equipped to showcase her projects plus participate in fun events like hackathons.

A Boy Working with Breakout Mentors for 8 Years

Another extremely advanced student is starting with a new mentor this school year. The Breakout Mentors Founder Brian Skinner worked with him when the business was just getting started. Now he is in high school, but over the years he has progressed through Scratch, Python, Java, data structures, basic algorithms, Unity, full-stack web development, and iOS.

The breadth of his knowledge is already impressive, now he is going to dive into a completely new area: data science and machine learning. He is paired with a UC Berkeley senior with an impressive internship background and the ability to simplify the math and theory to the student’s level.

13 year old student coding on couch

What About Your Son or Daughter?

As you can see, Breakout Mentors isn’t a tracked one-size-fits all learning experience. Many kids 9-11 learning Scratch and 12-14 learning Python or Java. However the students who work with us for years are able to advance at their own pace and tackle advanced material after mastering the fundamentals.

If you are interested in learning more, the only way to sign up is by scheduling a phone call with the Breakout Mentors Founder Brian Skinner. Be sure to plan ahead, even if you are considering it for November or January.

Posted by Brian Skinner / Posted on 10 Oct