Please join us for our first Pathways to Success Dinner & Awards!

By Artie Kopellas, AmeriCorps Communications & Media VISTA

Last week’s Kids in Tech Pathways to Success Dinner and Awards gave attendees a feeling of pride and hope for the future. The evening included awards to four community Changemakers and featured remarks  from our CEO and Founder Olu Ibrahim, Kids In Tech board members, and program instructors.

Chairman of the Kids in Tech Board of Directors, Ryan Callahan, introduced the first award of the night, the Community Partner Award to Coalition for a Better Acre(CBA). Callahan highlighted that CBA has been a program partner since 2017. Dolores Sierra, the Community Engagement and Events Coordinator, for CBA went on to say when accepting  the award, “ It is not about being first but the commitment to the work and betterment of the community. Sierra ended her acceptance impactfully by saying, “Together we will be building a brighter future one line of code at a time!” 

Image of Justin Ford, Yun- Ju Choi, Dolores Sierra, and Daniella Aranda-Cross from Coalition for a Better Acre( CBA) accepting the Community Partner Award with Kids in Tech’s Board Chairman, Ryan Callahan.

Next to be celebrated were Cara Brooks and Lisa Freed for the STEM Advocate Award presented by Board Secretary, Jason Shapiro, who explained the impact that Brooks and Freed had on Kids In Tech through their work with iRobot since our partnership with them in 2019. In her acceptance for both recipients, Feed spoke about the need for organizations like Kids In Tech expressing, “There are students everywhere that need these resources, they deserve these resources.

Image of Lisa Freed with Kids In Tech’s Board Secretary, Jason Shapiro, accepting the STEAM Advocate Award for herself and Cara Brooks.

The last award of the night, the Philanthropic Partner Award, was presented by Gregory Bloomfield, Board Treasurer, and was given to The Lenny Zakim Fund. Bloomfield highlighted Lenny Zakim Fund’s commitment to social justice and the belief in the intrinsic dignity of every person. Bloomfield further said that both Kids in Tech and The Lenny Zakim Fund are organizations founded in love. Executive Director of The Lenny Zakim Fund , Allison Picott,  accepted the award and spoke about the relationship between the two organizations as well as the importance of love in the work that we do. She said, “With love on your side, I do not doubt that you[ Olu Ibrahim ] and Kids In Tech will impact many students’ futures.”

Image of Mo Castillo, Board Member, The Lenny Zakim Fund, Executive Director of The Lenny Zakim Fund Allison Picott and Aditi Dholakia, Deputy Director of The Lenny Zakim Fund accepting The Philanthropic Partner Award. 

After handing out awards the night culminated with comments from Kids in Tech Program Instructors Pranav Yaddti and Nyah Huntley The instructors brought up the laughter that they and the kids experience during the tech Clubs and the importance of both the lessons we teach the children and the lessons they teach us. Nyah Huntley  said, “The lessons they taught us in teamwork and problem-solving are lessons we will take with us for the rest of our lives.” 

 Photo of Kids in Tech Instructors Pranav Yadati and Nyah Huntley posing before their speech at the Pathways to Success Dinner and Awards. 

Ryan Callahan, Chair of the Board, ended the night by stressing the impact that donations and community involvement have for Kids in Tech. He mentioned five ways to support Kids in Tech. These ways included Talent for those with technical skills, Ties for those who know potential community partners that we can work with, Time: such as volunteering, Testimony: sharing your positive experiences with others, and lastly Treasure: as Callahan said “making it rain” or donating to Kids in Tech.

You can fuel our mission by making an online donation: or donate via Venmo at @kidsintechorg.