Our first class April 2014
Our first class April 2014
Our First Class, April 2014.

Below is a summary of what Pursuit of Innovation accomplished in 2020. The year was not without challenges and heartbreak- but we are proud of what we were able to make happen. Thank you to all those who supported us along the way.

Our main focus for 2020 was the “Future of Work,” creating space to honor young people’s leadership. As we approached Pi515’s goals in 2020, we were driven by the desire to elevate young people to create, design and innovate. We wanted students to build future technology, not just use it. Pi515 was also able to hire 15 high school students and five college students over the course of the year at competitive wages. These students taught to peers, researched, and developed special projects. We are lucky to have so many talented student leaders in our organization.

Checkout what the Pi515…

Happy New Year.

Thinking of Sam Cooke song, a change is gonna come as I write this. It has been a long time coming, But I know a change is gonna come. Oh yes, it will.

Mid 2019 to Mid 2020 was crazy in my world. It was when I learned the lessons that I will use to lead me forward. GRIT. I am a social entrepreneur who believes that change does not happen when we wait for the perfect moment. Perfect moments arise when we seek to change things. I have walked this long path mostly alone, and today I celebrate that…

Poverty Gap, Digital Literacy Gap, Income Gap, Tech Skills Gaps and more”

Jessica Cruz Hernandez received a full ride to Iowa State, doing IT. She will be the first one in her family to go to college. She currently is interning for Red Ink Review. Red Ink Review assists college applicants in creating outstanding admissions essays. Her first website here: https://jessica-h.glitch.me/Home.html

Kevontae started coming to PI515 because his girlfriend, Jessica was our web class assistant. Jessica had joined our class in 9th grade and had become a pro in web development. Jessica’s PI515 job in 10th grade was to assist our Web Development class instructor, John Dillon, a Central college student. At PI515, we not only teach tech, but also encourage our students teach the skills they learn to their peers.

Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the many other black people who have lost their lives at the hands of police brutality, may you rest in power.

The recent events showcasing police violence against black bodies continues to shed a light on the widespread and systemic racism that black people have had to continuously face for 400 years in this country. As an organization that works with underserved youth, many of our students represent the black community in the Des Moines and surrounding area. Some of our black youth come from families that fled civil wars only to come to this country and bear witness to another ugly form of violence. We want to say to our black students, we share your pain and grief during this…

This is my wall. My PI 515 wall. Created this in the year that I stared pi 515, 5 years ago. Broke with a broken car all I had was lots of love for young people, wanted to change young people’s social-economic status, had tons of ideas, vision, dreams and absolutely no network or money. I often used to struggle explaining what I wanted to do because then, I was often dismissed. I remember sending an email to 73 people while I was thinking of starting pi 515, asking if they could help, I received one response. I was told…

Conversation with Tammy!

Tammy showing how to the Ipad to walk through a model of building atDMACC Girls in Construction event

I had great conversations with Tammy on her Work and Young People. Here is her advice for young people who still need to navigate higher education and careers.

  • Find something that you love to do and then you will never be bored.
  • Take classes that interest you and not just the required ones.
  • It is okay to change directions in your life. That is how we grow and learn.
  • Look at schools that offer more than the classes that you want. It is important for the school to offer things for our entire mind, body, and soul. …

“The same rain that fell on the bitter leaf also fell on the sugarcane”. Bitter leaf is a very bitter green leaf vegetable when cooked and Sugar Cane we all know is the source of sugar. This Yoruba saying reminds me simply of this fact, the Same Situation in life does bring different results for different people.

Eggplant Seeds. Called Bitter Balls in Some African Culture and is mainly used in some African Cuisine.
Eggplant Seeds. Called Bitter Balls in Some African Culture and is mainly used in some African Cuisine.

Similar situations in life, help contribute to different results for different people. At times, we are not in control of those things! In this case, both bitter leaf and sugar cane can be similar to our lives situations. The same situations, in our…

Pursuit of Innovation 515 (Pi515) is a nonprofit organization that teaches undeserved and refugee students computer programming, coding, and STEM skills. Students from the Des Moines Metro area are encouraged and supported as they learn about college/career opportunities, ways to serve the community, and how to achieve greater potential.

Pi515 has seen a historic year of momentum helping close the STEM gap by equipping low income students with skills to prepare them for careers in the technology industry and closing the digital divide by making sure that students have Tech equipment at home and are producing Tech.

We are excited…

As we end black history and transition to women history month, I want to say thank you to Men who Champion for Women like me.

Altoona Data Center

I started the journey of getting young people interested in Tech with nothing but the believe that teaching Coding to low income students would change life perspectives for them. With no clear plans in place and no start up funds, I met people who have worked just as hard as we have to make Iowa tech more inclusive. I am grateful for the support of people who were never afraid to take a chance on…

Sponsored by Nancy Mwirotsi, Nandi County (Elly Kurgat), People’s Centric (Sammy and Hellen Chepkwony) and facilitated by Start Up Africa.

Giving Africa Youth the opportunity to solve local problems through Innovation and Agribusiness while helping provide employment through startups.

Congratulations to all the Youth that participated in our pitch competition.

Kelvin Keter and Timon Nganai

Fresh Food Store

Kelvin Keter and Timon Nganai

Shs 125, 000

Nancy Mwirotsi and PI 515

We seek to expose a diverse group of students to STEM education and skills to help balance what we see as an inequity in their representation in STEM fields.

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