#33: Stevon Cook – From Public Housing to bringing Tech Training through Mission Bit

Being a 3rd generation San Franciscan who grew up in public housing, Stevon has always been aware of the challenges of his community including the major lack of access to Computer Science education among kids in the Bay Area. His drive to take part in bridging this tech divide was what got him to join Mission Bit, where he now serves as the CEO. Stevon also ran and won the election to be the Commissioner on the Board of Education for the City of San Francisco.

By leveraging relationships and tapping into the power of asking, Stevon is committed to providing computer science education for kids in the Bay Area so they can truly unlock their full potential.

 

Years in Tech2
Grew UpBay View, CA
Current JobFounder
Date Recorded1/30/2017

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources

Students Rising Above
City Hall Fellows
Mission Bit
CS for All
Coalition for Queens

Recommended Books
Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele

Show Notes:

[1:14] Living in public housing, Stevon got exposed to destructive behaviors at an early age until he found structure once he lived with his grandparents.

[7:45] Stevon describes how joining the summer program at Stanford during high school became transformational for him.

[11:35] He talks about what sparked his interest in politics including a controversial fight that happened in their high school.

[14:40] Resources Stevon sought, his thought process behind choosing which college to go, and why he ended up with Williams College

[16:50] Stevon recalls joining a leadership development program called the City Hall Fellows which got him to start reaching out and building relationships with leaders.

[21:20] Why he decided to run for office in the school board, a few things he learned about politics, his campaign experience, and losing the race for the first time

[27:50] Stevon shares his insights into dealing with rejection and working smarter that got him to win his second race in the School Board.

[30:25] What got him introduced to Mission Bit, landing the CEO role, some positive changes they’ve seen under his leadership, the admission process, and the demographics of students in San Francisco and people in the School Board

[48:28] Stevon explains the impact of “stereotype threat” on different people and some strategies he implemented to lessen the number of students dropping out of class.

[59:33] Stevon emphasizes the power of asking: The more you ask, the more you’re led into the direction you’re looking to go.

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