Gotham Gives Podcast, Jason Gibson
Taking a page from the Positively Gotham Gal playbook, we have a podcast series at Gotham Gives too. Each episode I sit down with one of our grantees to have an honest, in-depth conversation about who they are and how they came to do the work that they do.
These conversations are without a doubt some of the most inspiring podcast episodes I’ve ever had the pleasure of recording and I’m honored to share some of them with you all this week.
First up is Jason from Hood Code.
I had the utmost pleasure of crossing paths with Jason Gibson. He is a man with a big heart, an entrepreneurial mentality, and a large hardworking family behind him. Growing up in NYCHA, New York City’s Housing Authority buildings, at thirteen, he began to do what every other kid his age does. Hang out with their friends, try to act like an adult or an idiot, and get stoned in places you shouldn’t be. If you live in lily-white neighborhoods, you get in trouble, but you don’t get arrested and begin a record. This only happens in places like NYCHA and underserved communities. That record has now screwed you at age 13.
Jason spent forty-five months in jail for his small-time drug empire. He was never going back to prison. He educated himself, read countless books, got a legal degree, and vowed to make sure other kids growing up in NYCHA get access to opportunities he never had.
He started Hood Code. He is building a non-profit company, a brand, a community, a website, and a new way of life by teaching kids how to code. Jason understands that access to understand and build technology is number one. His program is built on top of Scratch. He knows his audience and how to make sure the kids keep coming back.
The podcast is a worthy listen. Hearing Jason’s story is powerful. We will do a new podcast every month, highlighting our work with the people who are making a difference.
To keep up with Gotham Gives and our mission to empower and inspire ALL New Yorkers, please check out gothamgives.org, Twitter, and Instagram.