Youth Code Jam wins first SVPSA pitch!

January, 2018

Youth Code Jam is honored to be selected as Social Venture Partners San Antonio’s first project and to have this unique philanthropic organization join us on this journey over the next three years. SVPSA members have committed their knowledge, talent, experience and financial support to innovating with us. I think we will look back at this moment years from now as truly transformational for Youth Code Jam, for the city of San Antonio and for every child who wants to learn how to code.

Every person in San Antonio deserves to be a contributing part of our digital economy. And that means learning how to think, how to problem solve and how to code. The collective brainpower of Social Venture Partners San Antonio will be a big help in this important work. SVP is a unique philanthropic venture, cultivating effective philanthropists, strengthening nonprofits, and investing in collaborative solutions – building powerful relationships to tackle our community’s social challenges.

Some of the statistics and facts that helped the SVPSA Partners in determining which nonprofit they could best contribute to were:

Computer science is the primary driver for job growth throughout all STEM fields.

More than 70% of projected jobs in STEM fields are in computing occupations; these occupations dominate “help wanted” advertisements and computer science is one of the most in-demand degrees for those leaving college. Yet only 8% of STEM graduates have degrees in computer science. (

In San Antonio, for every 10 IT jobs posted, there is only one qualified candidate. (SA2020)

In 2013, San Antonio employed four times the national average in the IT industry.

The tech ecosystem in San Antonio starts with our young people. By 2020, there will be an estimated 1.4 million unfilled computing jobs. Even if a child decides not to pursue computing as a career, programming can teach him or her how to think better – computationally, logically, with a focus on problem solving and persistence. These skills cross over into every aspect of life. The focus SVPSA has chosen is “At Risk Youth and Young Adults”. Youth Code Jam works with a very broad spectrum of youth including those that may not do well in traditional learning environments, addressing those youth and young adults. In last year’s programs, 52% of participants qualified for the “free and reduced school lunch program” and 63% of the students attending Youth Code Jam Summer camps qualified for scholarships.

Debi Pfitzenmaier