The Water Valley Base Camp Coding Academy has broken ground on its new home, creating Mississippi’s first Rural Education and Innovation Hub, according to the Oxford Eagle.
Base Camp Coding Academy is a nonprofit program that is free to participants. Applicants must be high school seniors. Once accepted, each student attends the one-year program, which begins a month after graduation, on a $15,000 scholarship.
Base Camp began as a three-year pilot program, as founders set out to see if disadvantaged students would be prepared for coding careers after completion.
“It went really well, and we went back out to the business community and asked, ‘Do you want more of this? Is it worth funding?’ and everybody said, ‘yes,’” co-founder Kagan Coughlin told the paper.
The academy’s first home was above a local grocery store. Thanks to $4.7 million raised from donations and federal agencies, it will now be housed at a 64,000 square-foot former factory building owned by the City of Water Valley.
Northwest Mississippi Community College, which currently has no presence in the county, will also be moving offices into the Hub, which has been dubbed Everest.
Thanks in part to a 90 percent graduation rate, the academy captured the attention of Facebook, which will fund three Base Camp scholarships for two years.
“Folks all over the place have been pointing out that we have this untapped resource in the middle of our country,” Coughlin told the Eagle. “Just rural youth that have not had access to the tech sector. We’re excited that kind of the large coastal players are picking their heads up and looking inward.”
We congratulate Base Camp Coding Academy on this milestone!