On September 27, we teamed up with famous Portland-raised rapper Aminé to visit local teens and unveil Project: Unlock The American Dream! Five kids from each school and Boys & Girls Club are receiving a year-long Techdegree scholarship funded by Treehouse to kick off the movement.
Aminé, whose hit single “Caroline” is triple-platinum, now lives in LA but remains passionate about giving back to his home community in East Portland. He approached Treehouse earlier this year with the idea to visit several East Portland schools and help kids realize the potential that the tech industry holds for them.
We visited Rosemary Anderson High School, Open School, Jefferson High School, Grant High School, and, lastly, the Blazers Boys and Girls Club. At each location, Aminé and our CEO, Ryan Carson, explained Project: Unlock The American Dream and emphasized that tech is for everybody.
“Growing up in Portland as a black kid, I never really got that many opportunities. What I thought I could do was pretty much music or sports, and that’s all that was brought to me.”
“I wanted to be able to come back here and tell you guys that there’s so much more than that. There are so many more opportunities and different pathways. And you can be successful. You can do whatever you want to do.”
We shared the main points of Project: Unlock The American Dream, and gave t-shirts to kids who could answer questions. It was so incredible to see teenagers of all backgrounds learn that:
- Coding jobs are actually creative and exciting
- The average starting salary is $62k
- Tech careers give you life-changing benefits like health care coverage
- A career in tech can help you and your family build generational wealth
- A college degree isn’t necessarily required
After each presentation, Aminé took selfies with as many kids as possible, signed t-shirts, and chatted.
We can’t wait to see the amazing things these kids accomplish. And we’re still a little star-struck from getting to hang out with Aminé. What an incredible day!