Scientology Harlem: Code-a-Thon Stresses Skill and Advocacy

Students attending a three-day program at the Scientology Harlem Community Center gain tech skills while expressing their passion for a better world.

The Church of Scientology Harlem Community Center hosted a Back-to-School Code-a-Thon January 21-23 for students ages 13-18. The Code-a-Thon is a 48-hour program of We Connect The Dots, a nonprofit whose mission is to involve and empower students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math—STEAM.

We Connect The Dots describes the program: “Competing in diverse teams, students worked to explore global issues and create a functional website that offered a solution to a human problem. This weekend was not just about learning to code, it was also about learning to work in teams, solve complex problems, cross collaborate, communicate across time zones and cultures, and most importantly meet new friends and have fun while learning.”

Teams participating in the annual Code-a-Thon gathered in five locations: the Church of Scientology Harlem Community Center; St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn, New York; Penn Wood Middle School in Darby, Pennsylvania; Iluka Resources Ltd. in Perth, Australia; and the Microsoft Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

Students were divided into teams, learned web development skills, and created their own websites which were judged by a panel who awarded first, second and third-place prizes in each venue. Each team created a website to present solutions for an urgent social problem.

Teams communicated with those gathered in the other locations through live video and shared their experience through webcasts.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer paid a visit and congratulated the students for their hard work and Code-a-thon achievements.

The Harlem team was led by Alvin Rogers, CEO of tech nonprofit Phattime, Inc. and a college technology instructor, known for his strong commitment to helping students succeed.

“Students were engaged. We had 17 participants, and we want to double that number next time. I’m a technologist. I want our kids to have [these skills]. I feel it’s that important for our future.”

At the Harlem venue, each of the students received a copy of The Way to Happiness, a common-sense moral code written by author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. In precept 17 of The Way to Happiness, Mr. Hubbard pointed out, “In an age of intricate equipment and high-speed machines and vehicles, one’s survival and that of one’s family and friends depends in no small measure upon the general competence of others. …To the degree that a man is competent, he survives. To the degree he is incompetent he perishes.”

The precept also describes three simple steps to improve competence and conquer the skills one needs.

Harlem’s winning team created a website that presented solutions to gun violence. For taking first prize, they were each awarded a Microsoft PRO laptop. Other teams created websites about saving the coral reefs and ending poverty. All students who participated received prizes including X-Box Ones, high-tech listening devices or gift certificates.

The Church of Scientology Harlem is an Ideal Scientology Organization. Its Community Center was created to provide real help at a grassroots level—to serve as a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift people of all denominations.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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