All Star Code is a national non-profit organization based out of New York whose mission is to create economic opportunity for young men of color with an entrepreneurial mindset; giving them the tools that they need to succeed in technology careers and startups. In doing so, All Star Code hopes to help close the racial gap in the fast-growing tech industry, where only 9% of the workforce is made up of Black or Latino men.
This is primarily achieved through All Star Code (ASC)’s Summer Intensive program; a free six-week professional-development opportunity (offered yearly) where high-school juniors and seniors are offered over 200 hours of computer science and soft skills development in a collaborative setting.
All Star Code offers a free six-week professional development opportunity for young men of color, called the Summer Intensive Program. Upon completing the Summer Intensive, graduates (called Scholars) are enrolled in ASC’s year-round Scholar Services Program, in which they join a community filled with alumni, professional opportunities, and learning resources. As the Scholar community and list of organizations continued to grow, ASC saw a need to keep Scholars engaged with employers and with one another online through a portal experience. Message Agency helped ASC by designing and developing the Scholars’ Portal, which provides scholars with continual connection to opportunities, support, and resources after the Summer Intensive program has ended. The portal is a gated and personalized experience for scholars of all ages, representatives from partner organizations, and the ASC staff. It is filled with resources, events, opportunities, and scholar profiles. We built the portal with room to grow as ASC grows; leaving space for future content and integration.
Users and User-Journeys
We not only had to consider how information was organized on the portal, but also the various needs and journeys of the many stakeholders using the portal. Scholars, the primary target audience, are along different points in their career path, spanning from high school juniors to early stages of their career. They have an array of needs, from college application assistance, to job interview tips, to access to job openings or scholarships. ASC also partners with companies, higher education institutions, and other supportive organizations to connect scholars with a variety of opportunities. In order to understand the full network of ASC’s community, resources, and opportunities, we focused our design process on understanding the user and users’ journeys, including not only the information and experience each stakeholder group required, but also the devices they would use to work within the environment we were designing.
Opportunities for Growth
All Star Code sees the portal as an opportunity to collect data for goal and metric tracking to measure the success of the Summer Intensive program as well as the long-term growth of scholars with ASC’s support. Our team developed the Scholars’ Portal on Drupal to ease integration with Salesforce at a later phase. Salesforce will give the ASC team the ability to track detailed data on user behavior and engagement on the portal.