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Manhattan Beach Teen's Foundation Funds Coding Camp for 40 Kids

Jun 29, 2024 08:53AM ● By Nathalie Rosen
Manhattan Beach teen Jack Segil has a goal of transforming the tech landscape for underprivileged kids in Los Angeles through his nonprofit, The Code to Grow Foundation

Segil, a passionate 17-year-old coder who spent his summers at the PlanetBravo coding camp at Manhattan Beach Middle School (MBMS), was struck by the lack of diversity in his classes. This realization sparked a determination in him to make coding accessible to kids from all backgrounds. 

Three years ago, Segil founded Code to Grow. It took two years to secure a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS, making initial fundraising a challenge. However, this past year, Segil’s hard work has paid off—he successfully raised $250,000, which will fund 40 children to attend coding camps across Los Angeles over the next three years, with 20 of these students attending the South Bay camp at MBMS.


Segil’s journey into philanthropy began with a deep-seated love for coding. He envisioned a world where every young person, regardless of socioeconomic status, could develop a passion for technology. This vision came to life through partnerships with organizations like CASA of LA, Happy Trails Camp, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, Camp Bob Waldorf, and Culture Club, which have helped source campers, many of whom are from the foster care system.

Each participant in Code to Grow attends a two-week summer coding camp for free, with meals and transportation provided. Additionally, they gain access to a year-long coding curriculum developed by Jack himself, supported by volunteer mentors. This initiative ensures that the students can continue their coding education throughout the school year.

The program’s launch this week saw Segil on-site at MBMS, welcoming the new campers. "Most of the kids are experiencing coding for the first time," Segil shared. "They're playing games and familiarizing themselves with the basics this week. Next week, they’ll start learning Python."

Segil's dedication extends all the way to the food served at the camp: He personally prepares lunches for the South Bay campers, offering a mix of PB&J and turkey sandwiches along with plenty of snacks. For campers at other locations, meals are ordered, and transportation is arranged through a partnership with HopSkipDrive at a discounted rate.


One notable fundraising achievement came from First Media, which awarded Code to Grow a $150,000 grant commitment ($50,000 per year for three years). Additionally, Segil secured matching donations from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, thanks to his father’s connection as a Motorola Solutions employee. (The younger Segil directly contacted the CEO of Motorola in an effort to get Motorola even more involved, which resulted in a $15,000 donation and he anticipates ongoing support in future grant cycles.)

PlanetBravo, where Segil’s coding journey began, offers discounted admission for Code to Grow campers. This partnership allows students to get a taste of coding and, if they wish to continue, they can learn Python at home at their own pace using the year-long curriculum that he developed. Segil ensured that the curriculum is compatible with school-issued Chromebooks, and he can provide internet hotspots as needed.

Code to Grow started with just four students in its first year, grew to six the following year, and now supports 40 students. Despite heading to college soon, Segil plans to continue running the foundation. "I want to keep this momentum going and reach even more kids each year," he said. "Coding has the power to change lives, and I want to share that opportunity with as many young people as possible."

To learn more, volunteer, or donate, visit

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