Miguel Sanchez and Errol King met in 2008 during a night class on Macromedia Flash programming at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in Manhattan, and discovered they were both from The Bronx.
Miguel went on to found Mass Ideation in 2009, while Errol built a game company which was acquired by Google.
Errol has been present at every MetaBronx event and is one of the esteemed industry mentors, and he invited apprentices from the Summer 2018 CareerCLUE program to come visit his work environment at Google's New York City headquarters.
On the photo you see five apprentices from the 10th grade at Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE), ready to take over the NYC skyscrapers in the background.
From left to right:
- Anthony Carty, media production team
- Sha'nya Pereira, special projects, business development
- Jonairy Castro-Audain, media production team
- Muhfasul Alam, software engineering team
- Tomi Adetunji, writing team
Errol told us the story of how he got into technology, without sugarcoating anything, giving the apprentices the inside info on what it's like to represent minority cultures among the powerful tech deciders.
I personally found Google itself to be a somewhat strange place, with the feeling of unlimited resources at your fingertips but also the feeling that the culture is highly secretive, carefully deciding which parts of the machine can be experienced by outsiders, and which parts cannot.
It is true that protecting business secrets is important when competition is intense, but it's also very difficult to be culturally inclusive if the culture is exclusive by design.
What is certain is that visiting Google and hearing Errol's story is extraordinarily valuable for youth.
Based on my experience co-architecting the Bronx community-driven innovation ecosystem, there is an extraordinary amount of talent in underestimated places like The Bronx, but without access to places like Google, that talent has very little chance to fulfill its potential, at enormous loss to the US economy.
Many thanks to Errol King and Google for providing some that access!