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Codathon brings together Vista high school students and IT security engineers

April 02, 2018

Okta at Mission Vista High SchoolOkta at Mission Vista High SchoolThis year, Vista Unified School District and the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) began a new partnership to start preparing Vista Unified students for the world of work early on in their learning experiences. At the high school level, this has meant the first ever implementation of CONNECT2Careers (C2C) On Campus—a new model of bringing C2C staff on-site to work in school district offices, developing internship and work-readiness opportunities focused on the needs of students in that school district.

C2C moved in to Vista Unified’s Vista Innovation Center in January 2018 and has been hard at work building relationships with employers connected to Vista Unified school needs since day one. One result of those relationships: a codathon event with employees from Okta, a gobal information technology security company headquartered in San Francisco.

On Friday, March 30—the last day of Spring Break for Vista Unified—25 students from Jeff Yee’s computer science class met with engineers from Okta in their classroom at Mission Vista High School. Okta’s engineers taught coding basics, shared about their experiences creating careers in information & communication technologies (a priority sector in San Diego) and engaged students in a coding activity designed to test their skills. After lunch provided by Okta, students presented group projects they have been working on to the engineers for evaluation and feedback.

Students in the class expressed their gratitude for the opportunity and their desire for more, similar events, with one senior remarking he “wished he had this opportunity” two years earlier so he could better take advantage of the skills he’d been practicing in Mr. Yee’s class.

One Okta engineer remarked, “These kids are amazing, and smart and just dedicated. We had a great time helping them learn more about Okta and learning more about their projects and I think they’re really well set up for success. They’re great kids!”

Okta hopes to participate in future opportunities such as this again with students from Vista Unified.

Activities like this one are just the beginning of what Assistant Superintendent of Innovation Matt Doyle calls a “warm hand-off for students upon graduation to go into college and career” in an article in The San Diego Union-Tribune highlighting the district’s partnership with SDWP earlier this month.

If you’re interested in engaging your business with C2C On Campus at Vista Unified School District, contact C2C Program Coordinator Kerri de Jager at kerridejager@workforce.org or (619) 797-2250. If you would like to bring a program like C2C On Campus to your school district, contact SDWP Director of Programs Karmin Noar at karminnoar@workforce.org or (619) 228-2917.