What is your bio / story? I am a Hoosier native from Indianapolis, shaped by my upbringing on the west side of the city and participation in programs like Eli Lilly STEM, CLD (Center for Leadership Development) and the Indiana University Junior Executive Institute. I was a political action chair in the IUPUI (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis) Black Student Union, leading to leadership roles on campus. I am the Co-Owner of PB&J Factory, an eatery known for unique sandwiches.
My passion lies in the non-profit CODE BLACK INDY, Inc., where I serve as Co-founder and President. This initiative aims to bridge the wealth gap by providing training and support to underrepresented individuals in the tech industry.
Prior to entrepreneurship, I worked as a night club bouncer and then as a Retirement Plant Manager. A self-taught web developer and IT support agent, I learned while working at my uncle’s private IT firm, laying the foundation for my tech experience.
Inspired by mentoring children and being there for my neighbors, my love for technology and community gave birth to CBI (CODE BLACK INDY), Inc.
My journey illustrates a commitment to innovation, inclusion, and giving back to my hometown.
What is your “superpower?
My superpower is seeing the line to the solution. This kind of court vision allows for better strategy and more efficiency in the use of resources, when possible.
Please tell us about your experience at #BOUT THAT WEB3 @ VeeCon '23 It was a pretty surreal experience. Indiana gets a lot of pass through traffic, historically. As of late, the world has started to turn its eye on us, especially in spaces of finance and tech.
VeeCon injected the social component into our region - exposing us to networks, whom, normally, would barely know us outside of the Indy500 and Basketball. I hope it comes back to grow alongside our ecosystem.
Why do you feel diversity & inclusion is important to the future of web3 and the blockchain? Diversity and inclusion in web3 and blockchain are important because various perspectives are considered, leading to more innovative and robust solutions, especially in regards to our future.
When we embrace different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, technology evolves to meet the needs of broader audiences. By cultivating an environment where all voices are heard and developed, we avoid the same historical style of approach that results in biases and limitations.
Who or what inspires you to be the best version of yourself? The people I keep around me. It was always true what my parents taught me.
You are the sum of your decisions, and a garden of greatness bares it even more.
What project(s) are you working on that you would like to tell everyone about? We have a couple of projects in the works. Our 501(c)(3) has created a K-12 Pipeline Pathway that is aligned with the state standards for schools to utilize our model to expand their computer science curriculum and career pathways.
We work with schools to mold and advance their curriculum for students to be exposed earlier in their school careers. This allows students to end high school with industry certifications, portfolios, and paid internships.
Another project we our currently seeking grant funding for will allow non-English speaking students to capture the nuance of coding and expand its utilization.
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