MACH Academy Inc. is much more than a tennis club.
“I’m kind of lucky to get tennis players into coding because they’re already determined. They’re into collaboration. They’ll keep trying until they get it but yeah from the tennis component, MACH Academy has gotten people tennis scholarship where they’re the first person in their family to go to college,” said MACH Board Member Deirdre Skolfield.
Student and tennis players Kaylan Henley said, “It’s not just tennis. It’s coding, mathematics, tutoring all that stuff. It helps you.”
MACH Academy hosted a science, technology, engineering, and math or stem workshop to better prepare kids for their futures. Roslyn Stephens has daughters enrolled in the academy.
She said, “This program has been the foundation for them and the goal from the program’s inception is to get low to moderate income kids into more athletics and academics both simultaneously so they can go off to college.”
The main focus at the workshop, coding.
“The computer room where you’ve been, we have kids that start with Scratch coding that was put together by MIT. It’s totally free and then they move on to python that you’ve seen in there. Which is the number one coding language because it’s not just Augusta but all the public schools in the nation are having a hard time retooling for the fact that kids need computer skills to get jobs in the future and so we’re just trying to meet that need as the schools catch on that computer programming coding is going to be a part of every job by the time these kids graduate,” said Skolfield.
If these kids end up being computer programmers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor says they could be making up to $84,000 a year.
Stephens said, “I want them to go on and get a better understanding of career options and professions they’re interested in but his program is what laid the foundation because we have so many people that want to come in and share what it is that they do and that encourages the students.”
Skolfield added, “Kids are going through a lot these days but what I can tell you 100 percent of the kids can be a success in this world that I’ve seen come through this program because the kids are very resilient. You’ll see when they’re out there playing tennis they’re really driven so they come in they’re determined. They’re driven. They know that they can win if they just stick with it and that’s really what MACH Academy encourages.”
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