Genesys Works Chicago and Columbia College Chicago Online partner in Everyone Can Code initiative

June 13, 2018

Press Release


CHICAGO, June 13, 2018 – Genesys Works, a national social enterprise that provides work opportunities to high school students from underserved communities, today announced a partnership with Columbia College Chicago that will provide Chicago Public School students the opportunity to learn coding skills in an accelerated eight-week session this summer.

Twenty-five students will enroll in Columbia Online’s App Design with Swift Programming course as a part of the Everyone Can Code initiative. The new coding training track will be piloted beginning June 25th and is being offered alongside the Genesys Works Chicago’s core summer training programs before the rising high school seniors begin paid, corporate internships in the fall.

The Everyone Can Code initiative in Chicago was designed in collaboration with Apple, the Office of the Mayor, Chicago Public Schools, local businesses and other nonprofits that focus on youth workforce development. Together, these organizations are working to expand opportunities for students to build the skills they need to pursue careers in the growing app economy.

“We continue to look for new ways to impact our community and the youth we serve, and the partnership with Columbia College Online, in collaboration with Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative was a perfect fit,” said Liz Rafferty, Executive Director, Genesys Works Chicago. “With this new track, we are able to provide our students with the digital skills they need to compete in today’s workforce. Through partnerships with Chicago Public Schools, Columbia College Online and collaboration with Apple, we are serving Chicago’s students better and building a strong talent pipeline for our local corporations.”

In this course, referred to as Computer Science, students will build their own mobile apps while learning and using Swift, Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language that has been used to build today’s most popular apps, including Airbnb, Venmo and Yelp. They will also learn the process of development and how apps are created from concept to prototype to final product. Upon completion of this course, students will have not only a custom app they have created, but also a badge of completion.

Everyone Can Code is a program designed by Apple to help everyone learn how to code, creating opportunities for all students and preparing them for the workforce. The comprehensive program includes a range of free resources, from helping students explore basic coding concepts to building fully functional apps.


About Columbia College Chicago Online

Columbia College Chicago Online delivers new engaging curriculum to lifelong learners anywhere in the world, and is committed to providing high-quality educational experiences to develop the necessary skills to launch or grow a sustainable career in today’s demanding marketplace. Columbia Online’s courses are developed by award-winning faculty and industry experts along with talented instructional designers focused on the student experience. Similar to the campus experience, Columbia Online prepares the next generation of artists and innovators at a recognized creative powerhouse with the flexibility to complete coursework around their schedules. For more information, visit

About Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts, and business for nearly 7,500 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long- term career success, Columbia College Chicago creates a dynamic, challenging, and collaborative space for students who experience the world through a creative lens. For more information, visit


About Genesys Works


Genesys Works is a nonprofit social enterprise providing pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships. Its program consists of eight weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Its goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve nearly 4,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. For more information, visit

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