Kids Start Their Tech Journey With Camp, Coding and Laptops

A couple years ago Tony Kioko, a senior IT application analyst at The Principal, struggled to find local leadership and technology camps for his kids. After attending a Thinc Iowa conference, Kioko decided to find a solution himself and start a technology camp with the help of informational technology (IT) professionals. Along with David Kessler, whom Kioko met at a Java Symposium, they co-founded a new nonprofit called Tech Journey, Inc.

Tech Journey will organize and host its first Tech Camp in Des Moines in 2013. Volunteers from the IT community will help teach coding, gaming and video development, web application development, user interface and digital music, and campers will learn about careers in IT. The camp targets talented kids with limited access to technology, and everyone will attend free of charge.

Tony Kioko of The Principal helped start a technology camp for kids in Des Moines. The Principal helped with an in-kind donation of 20 laptops.

To help Tech Camp get started, The Principal made an in-kind donation of 20 laptops to Tech Journey. The Principal supports STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives and the donation will help our employees working with Tech Journey provide education and accessibility to children.

“The laptops will be used to give the kids hands-on experience by allowing them to practice what they are learning during the camp,” Kioko says. “They will also be used throughout the school year to continue engaging the kids in learning how to code.”

The camp will benefit both kids and the community through education and volunteerism, including:

  • Breaking down educational and economic barriers for youth with limited resources, so kids can access technology.
  • Encouraging kids to pursue higher education in the area of IT through hands-on experience and a network of encouragement and support.
  • Filling a need for summer learning after comprehensive summer courses offered to gifted and talented youth in Des Moines schools were affected by budget cuts.
  • Contributing to the IT workforce ecosystem by getting the kids in the community interested in technology.

Allowing technology professionals to give back to their community.

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