Computer Science Student Bahar Moussavi co-founded a Non-Profit for ASD Students

Computer Science student Bahar Moussavi is the co-founder of a not-for-profit organization called the C.O.D.E. Initiative, that helps children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to develop an interest in coding.  Bahar, together with a team of UBC student volunteers from Science and Engineering, implemented a two-week coding workshop.  They worked with 20 students (ages 9 - 15) who has ASD to teach them the basics of programming.  Throughout the two weeks, these students were able to progress from having limited knowledge of programming, to loving the process of coding, and being excited and confident about programming their own websites or games. Many of the students and their parents were so enthusiastic about the workshop that they were requesting the team to create a series of follow-up workshops.  

The C.O.D.E. team is now in the process of planning for more workshops in January and February, as well as in the summer of 2018.  The team would like to recruit more UBC student volunteers, as well as to deepened their partnership with SAP, Learning Buddies Network and Autism BC, and the Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN). 

Often, children with ASD struggle to succeed in traditional school systems because most public institutions lack the resources to provide a one-to-one teacher-to-student ratio that many students with ASD need.  The goal of the C.O.D.E initiative is to address this service gap by introducing more children and youth with ASD to a highly sought-after skill in today’s job market, and to bring them a step closer to independence.  Through this new initiative, Bahar and her team aim to, 'motivate kids on the autism spectrum to pursue post-secondary opportunities by introducing them to an environment that highlights their abilities rather than dwells on aspects of school that they may struggle with'.  

If you are interested to learn more about The C.O.D.E. Initiative and the opportunities you can pursue with them, email them at outreach@thecodeinitiative.ca

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