Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Base Camp Coding Academy, C Spire Fill Key Leadership Roles

C Spire is expanding its partnership with the Base Camp Coding Academy by assuming a key leadership role on the board of directors as the organization accelerates its efforts to begin training Mississippi’s next generation of software developers by hiring a technical director.

C Spire via its non-profit division (C Spire Foundation) is the founding sponsor of Base Camp Academy
C Spire via its non-profit division (C Spire Foundation) is the founding sponsor of Base Camp Academy

Carla Lewis, senior vice president of IT for the Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company, has been named to the Base Camp board of directors and Sean Anthony, a Teach for America manager in Mississippi, has been hired as Technical Director for the Water Valley non-profit.

Carla Lewis, senior vice president of IT for the Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company, has been named to the Base Camp board of directors. Photo courtesy of Base Camp
Carla Lewis, senior vice president of IT for the Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company, has been named to the Base Camp board of directors.
Photo courtesy of Base Camp

Base Camp provides high school graduates with a year-long vocational training program in computer programming to support the technology needs of local and regional employers. The first classes begin on June 1. Once students leave the program, they can pursue full-time jobs with Mississippi technology companies.

“Lewis brings deep IT expertise to the board,” said Glen Evans, president of Oxford-based FNC, Inc. and Base Camp co-founder. “In her 15 years with C Spire, she has led all of the major software development and IT initiatives for this Mississippi-based technology company. We’re excited to have such an accomplished professional and leader in the technology field helping us guide the growth and future of Base Camp.”

C Spire, through its non-profit charitable Foundation, is a founding sponsor of the Base Camp Coding Academy. Many Mississippi companies face a constant shortage of skilled computer programmers in the workforce. Last year, there were nearly 1,100 job openings, but only 145 computer science graduates in the state, Lewis said.

Base Camp Academy co-founder Kagan Coughlin. Photo by Jeff McVay
Base Camp Academy co-founder Kagan Coughlin.
Photo by Jeff McVay
“Hiring a technical director to lead the curriculum development and technical teaching has been a top priority for the board and we are thrilled to have found an immense talent in Sean Anthony right here in Water Valley,” said Kagan Coughlin, co-founder and executive director of Base Camp.

Anthony has a wide range of experience, including teaching STEM classes in regional high schools and helping manage the operations of Teach for America in Mississippi. “Anthony has dedicated his career to improving education in Mississippi and we’re excited about the leadership and guidance he will bring in the classroom,” Coughlin said.

Sean Anthony, a Teach for America manager in Mississippi, has been hired as Technical Director for the Base Camp Coding Academy.
Sean Anthony, a Teach for America manager in Mississippi, has been hired as Technical Director for the Base Camp Coding Academy.

Base Camp focuses on minority and female high school graduates who do not have an alternate pathway to higher education, a group that has historically been underrepresented in the computer sciences field. Once they qualify and join the program, students receive 12 months of fast-paced, focused and intensive training.

Base Camp Coding Academy is headquartered directly above B.T.C. Grocery in Water Valley. Photo by Jeff McVay
Base Camp Coding Academy is headquartered directly above B.T.C. Grocery in Water Valley.
Photo by Jeff McVay

The organization was founded in 2015 by Evans and Coughlin. The two friends and former colleagues have a track record of bringing their experience and expertise from the banking and software industries to locally-based community improvement projects.

This latest venture is no different. Base Camp is free to qualified students who participate in an intensive 12-month training program. Graduates receive a job-ready skill level in computer software programming.

For more information about supporting the Base Camp Coding Academy or student admission requirements, contact Coughlin at Kagan@basecampcodingacademy.org or Evans at glen@basecampcodingacademy.org.

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Base Camp Coding Academy, based in Water Valley, Mississippi, is a charitable, non-profit vocational education training program that delivers fast paced, focused computer programming to under-advantaged youth in Mississippi to support the technology needs of local and regional employers. The program’s primary objective is to help students pursue a career in computer science through an immersive classroom environment that features current, real world technologies and projects. For more information about the Base Camp Coding Academy, visit BaseCampCodingAcademy

C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class customer service and a superior comprehensive suite of customer-inspired wireless communications, high-speed Internet access and a range of other telecommunications products and services to consumers and businesses with a personal focus.

For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at CSpireFacebook or Twitter at TwitterCSpire


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