LaunchCode class graduates 38 coders

by Suzanne Gibson, Director of Community Programs and Engagement

Excitement was high as 38 graduates of LaunchCode LC101 crossed the stage on July 24 to receive their certificates deeming them professional computer coders.  This free, intensive 20-week program kicked off in February through partnerships between LaunchCode, Launch Tennessee and Southwest Tennessee Community College.

“Teaming up with LaunchCode was a natural partnership for Southwest,” President Dr. Tracy D. Hall said. “The program is designed to empower students to pursue a new career and compete at a high level for technology-based jobs, an outcome that is central to our mission at the College.”

Recent LaunchCode graduate, Lawrence Lockhart, is already putting his coding prowess to work at FedEx Technology Center, where he was recently hired as a software developer 1. “I tried online self-study, but my progress was not very good,” Lockhart said. “LaunchCode was a structured, rigorous program that allowed me to learn full stacks in different languages. Now I have the basics to be an effective developer.”

LaunchCode Executive Director Jeff Mazur says Memphis wins, too. "LaunchCode is thrilled to celebrate our first graduates in the state of Tennessee," he said. "By removing barriers and equipping driven individuals with technical skills at no cost to them, we've created homegrown talent for area employers. It's a win for our graduates and for Memphis' tech ecosystem."

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, LaunchCode is a national non-profit organization with a mission to build a skilled workforce in the cities it occupies by creating pathways for driven people seeking careers in technology. Its LC101 course is a free, part-time 20-week class. Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship, with the goal of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Partnering with Entrepreneur Centers in six regions, Launch Tennessee creates collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and to stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs.

For more information about LaunchCode in Memphis, contact Suzanne Gibson at 901-333-4172 or sgibson12@southwest.tn.edu.


First-time  Memphis LaunchCode graduates.

First-time Memphis LaunchCode graduates.

Lawrence Lockhart with  fellow coders at LaunchCode’s graduation ceremony at the Union Avenue Campus.

Lawrence Lockhart with fellow coders at LaunchCode’s graduation ceremony at the Union Avenue Campus.