UPDATE (May 2016): Since the publication of this story, Ade was accepted into the i3 Scholarship Program and graduated with a major in Information Science. He was recently hired by ESPN as an Application Developer and will be working in the Business Intelligence Department, developing products for data analysis and visualization.
At Clearly Innovative we want to change the landscape of the technology space; we want to be change makers who are empowering underrepresented men and women to have a seat at the table of technology and innovation.
A good start to this goal is acknowledging the fact that a one day hack-a-thon or over-hyped marketing about child coding geniuses will not move the needle. Leveling the tech playing field will take examples of determination by those who want to pursue careers in tech and commitment by prospective employers especially those men and women of color who can serve as mentors and role models.
Adebimbola Ogunyale, a college student from Washington D.C. is one of those shining examples who can change the community’s notions about what young men of color can achieve in the tech world. Ade is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School and is a student-athlete (he plays soccer) pursuing a Information Science major at University of Pittsburgh.
Two summers ago, Clearly Innovative met Ade through the DC Summer Youth Employment Program, a program that’s connected us with some of DC’s most talented young people for over 4 years now. Ade was like many ambitious young people and came to us passionate about what he learned in school. He had basic programming knowledge and our development team spent the summer working with him through peer to peer training and code reviews to develop his skills and utilize them on client projects.
From leading the front end development for projects including the NAACP Image Awards app (and hobnobbing with celebs at the actual award show) to teaching programming to rambunctious tech savvy 7th and 8th graders at Howard University Middle School through CI’s education program to coaching young kids at a Takoma Park soccer program, Ade’s journey is inspiring to aspirational youth interested in technology.
Ade was so taken with the mobile app development skills he learned at CI, that after the SYE program ended, he interrupted his academic studies and continued to work at Clearly Innovative full time for a year and a half as a junior developer to perfect his skills.
This past semester he returned to University of Pittsburgh. With a growing set of skills and satisfaction from his work with young people both as a soccer coach and a mobile app instructor, he applied to a top tier scholarship at his university. He appears well on his way as the recipient of the prestigious i3 Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh. After completing the intensive i3 Program, he intends to pursue advanced studies at Carnegie Mellon or University of Pittsburgh and then pursue a top position in the tech sector.
Take a listen as our Digital Strategist Dominic Swain took some time recently to sit down with Ade and chat about his life BCI/ACI (Before Clearly Innovative/After Clearly Innovative).
If you’re interested to know more about Ade’s story, working with Clearly Innovative or want to know more about what we do, let’s talk.