February 18, 2016
Danielle McNamara



MESA’s “Cascade the Code” empowers university students to teach coding to middle, high schoolers


More than 2,000 MESA middle and high school students throughout California will gain coding skills and educational inspiration from university MESA students through a new partnership with one of Silicon Valley’s tech giants.


Thanks to a generous $40,000 donation from Google, MESA will launch Cascade the Code, a peer-mentoring initiative that places MESA engineering students with MESA pre-college students to teach computer science projects and activities.


Cascade the Code will mobilize more than 100 university students to give back to their communities. Students will come from the following MESA campus centers: CSU Los Angeles, San Jose State University, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz.


“This partnership builds on MESA’s long history of encouraging students to make a difference,” said MESA interim executive director Juanita Muñiz-Torres. “MESA students are typically the first in their families to go to college and during that shift, they inspire and encourage others in their families and communities to excel.”


MESA is uniquely positioned to provide engagement and inspiration to the growing number of diverse STEM students and future STEM professionals. The program provides academic enrichment, counsel and support for educationally disadvantaged students who have an interest in pursuing degrees in STEM fields.


More than twice as many MESA high school seniors go to college compared to all California high school graduates (92% vs 41% respectively). Further, 56% of MESA high school graduates go to college in STEM majors. More than two-thirds of MESA students are Latino, African American, American Indian and Pacific Islander.


MESA’s success comes in part from industry collaborations such as the Google-supported Cascade the Code. MESA’s recent partners also include Cisco, SanDisk, Edison International and NVIDIA.


MESA is one of the largest programs in the state to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees. MESA provides academic support and enrichment to more than 18,000 K-12 students and more than 7,800 community college and 4-year college students each year. Follow MESA on Twitter @MESASTEM.


# # #