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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 16, 2016) — A group of Valley High School students who formed their own company to build websites and provide social media and other tech support are being nationally recognized for their innovation and skills.
The students—Dominique Burris, Johnathan Derricotte, Husseini Husseini, Justin Jones and Ernest Magee—were honored in Cincinnati at the annual EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards event sponsored by Ernst and Young. The recognition includes a $2,000 grant to the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation. The teens will use the money to build a new website for a Louisville non-profit organization.
The Jefferson County Public Schools students, who are employed through the Mayor’s SummerWorks program, were inspired to form their company by the Code Louisville project, which trains people of all ages in computer software coding.
“Our community and economy will thrive if we can attract and grow the sharpest innovators and entrepreneurs,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “It’s rewarding to see our SummerWorks effort partner with JCPS and programs like AMPED to give students the support and confidence to put their skills and minds into action and inspire others.”
AMPED—the Academy of Music Production Education and Development—has served as the mentoring organization for the Valley Tech students and their entrepreneurial venture.
The Valley Tech project is similar to an earlier entrepreneurial effort called Beech Technologies, a tech firm started and run by a group of Ballard High School students who were also part of the SummerWorks program.Beech Technologies was created in 2015 as a spin-off project of Code Louisville.
The Mayor’s SummerWorks program and its partner employers will employ more than 2,700 young people, ages 16-21 at more than 100 companies and organizations this summer.
Since 2014, Code Louisville has provided its free software training to 700 people. Both the current 12-week class, which began last month and the September class are full and registration is underway for the January, 2017 sessions.
The Code Louisville and SummerWorks programs are run by KentuckianaWorks.