Want to learn how to code? Two free options are coming to Miami thanks to these grants

A general view of the Wyncode Academy on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Miami.
A general view of the Wyncode Academy on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Miami.

The Knight Foundation believes a more diverse set of Miamians should to learn to code — and is putting its money where its mouth is.

On Wednesday, the foundation announced it would match a $120,000 investment from Microsoft to allow Code/Art, a Miami-based nonprofit that supports teaching computer science to girls, to offer its coding program free of charge to teachers from up to 60 Miami-Dade County public schools.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this program that will empower Code/Art to reach over 15,000 girls and underrepresented minority students in the 2019-2020 school year,” said Amy Austin Renshaw, CEO, and co-founder of Code/Art, in a statement. “An early, fun and creative introduction to coding will get kids excited about computer science and on the path to expanding the technical talent pool in South Florida.”

The program will promote early-access to computer science education for Miami-Dade County public school students in low-income districts, and other schools with limited or no computer science classes. It is aimed at leveling the playing field for girls and minorities, who are significantly underrepresented in computing fields, Knight said in its statement. Preference will be given to middle school art teachers in low-income schools, but may then be opened up to include middle school technical education teachers and elementary school art teachers.

Knight and Microsoft also announced Wednesday they are partnering with Wyncode to launch the Future Leaders of Miami Technology Fellowship, a full scholarship for a low-income, underrepresented resident in the South Florida area to take one of Wyncode’s full-time web development programs.

“Wyncode is excited to provide the education and tools for underrepresented members of the Miami community to launch a thriving career in technology,” said Johanna Mikkola, CEO, and co-founder of Wyncode Academy, in a statement. “As a community of educators, technologists, and entrepreneurs, we see limitless potential in all of our students and alumni, and want to develop a support system through education to help all members of the Miami ecosystem achieve their goals.”

South Florida residents interested in the Future Leaders of Miami Tech Fellowship can learn more and apply at The deadline to submit an application for the spring fellowship program is March 20. In order to qualify, a candidate must meet the following requirements:

Be a member of an underrepresented group in Miami’s technology ecosystem

Have under $50,000 combined family income

Have no or limited post-secondary education

Be authorized to work in the U.S.

The first round of finalists will be announced on March 28.

Rob Wile covers business, tech, and the economy in South Florida. He is a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and Columbia University. He grew up in Chicago.