McKenzie Street

McKenzie Street

Though she is not currently pursuing a STEAM career, McKenzie Street credits STEAM:CODERS with helping to build her confidence and making her a more well-rounded student.

Street, a sophomore studying media and communications at New York University, started STEAM:CODERS programming in middle school. Python was her first class, quickly followed by lessons in Scratch, robotics, and entrepreneurship.

“At first, I wasn’t super into coding. I didn’t know about it,” Street says. “As I moved up, I realized it’s a really helpful skill to know, and I stayed with it because it encouraged me to pursue other classes.”

“The best thing about STEAM:CODERS is exposure to possibilities and opportunities that aren’t usually highlighted, especially to Black and Latino kids,” says Street.

Due to her experience in STEAM:CODERS, Street took on a lot of STEAM classes and extracurriculars once she got to high school. She took AP Computer Science, robotics, and engineering, as well as joining the Girls Who Code and robotics clubs.

STEAM:CODERS gave her a “really good baseline of skills,” which helped her start a step ahead of some of her classmates. This allowed her to develop her leadership skills, as she could help her peers with projects, homework, and classwork.

“It established me as somebody who would try new things and either succeed at them or fail at them,” Street says.

Among the standout memories from her time with STEAM:CODERS was a trip to ArtCenter College of Design. They toured the campus and actually held some of their classes. The trip showed students how people design cars and furniture.

“I didn’t realize that was an actual industry. No one really tells you about that,” Street recalls.

Street says the outings are really insightful and impactful.

“It’s probably the best part of the program,” Street says. “It’s a field trip. It’s engaging, but it’s also really educational.”