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All Star Code Raises $900,000 at East Hampton Summer Benefit [VIDEO]

Technology, financial industry executives and supporters gathered in East Hampton for the 5th annual All Star Code Summer Benefit on July 28. The Saturday evening event, hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien (MSNBC, Hearst, Starfish Media), celebrated the accomplishment of the young boys and men participating in All Star Code’s intensive coding and entrepreneurship program.

The benefit included a fireside chat discussing solutions for inclusion and change in technology careers, an auction, and dinner with dancing to end the evening. An estimated $900,000 was raised for All Star Code as a result of the benefit. About $300,000 was raised among the 300 attendees during the event’s auction. AT&T was among the many sponsors supporting the benefit.

O’Brien also moderated the fireside chat with panelists Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code and Van Jones, Co-Founder of Dream Corps. The panelists commented on the future of inclusion and tech and made an appeal to the audience to be concerned and support organizations creating science and technology related education.

Other noteable guests at the All Star Code benefit include former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Marcus Samuelsson, Celebrity Chef and owner of Red Rooster and model Rose Cordero.

Students enrolled in the program were seated at tables to meet and greet guests and share testimonials. One notable All Star Code alumni speaker, Cole Maddox, started a hedge fund from his bedroom at age 18. Maddox is starting his freshman year at Wharton Business School in the Fall 2018 semester.

Most people think boys are doing great in the tech industry, but there are a lot of boys out there who deserve extra support,” Christina Lewis Founder and CEO of All Star Code said. “We educate young men of color in computer science and provide alumni services until they get full time jobs in tech.”

All Star Code designed its own unique curriculum focused on coding, computational thinking and web development skills. The program teaches students to create and demonstrate in front of family, friends and tech industry executives. Students are taught not to fear failure and to work hard and try again. Since its inception, there have been more than 400 students enrolled in the program with a capacity of 150 students each year. In 2018 there were about 1,000 applications for the program. The organization’s fundraising efforts will finance expansion of  increased student enrollment and staff for the program in New York City and Philadelphia. 

All Star Code’s sponsors include technology and finance industry giants Goldman Sachs, The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Cisco, and Google. Learn more about the organization at

Watch video and view photos from our extended coverage at the All Star Code Summer Benefit on Instagram and Twitter @NYCWired




Monica Link

Monica Link

Monica Link is a New York City-based multimedia journalist, entrepreneur and performer. She produces media including content, stage, film and events. Her resume includes interviews with celebrities, New York Times bestsellers, executives and fashion designers. Ms. Link is the founder of Link4Productions Media and Entertainment. She serves as on on-air digital media journalist. Her media writing and on-air work include Bold TV, National Mortgage News, Tribes art reviews, and the New York Observer.