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2019 Hopeworks Camden Code Day and Pitch Competition

30 Oct 2019 | 2 minutes

On October 19th, I had the pleasure of being involved in the 2019 Camden Code Day and helping judge the first ever Hopeworks Pitch Competition at the Hopeworks HQ in Camden, NJ.

Hopeworks is an incredible organization aiming to help youth and young adults learn coding, design, and technology with the ultimate goal of earning gainful employment. From the group that I met, this shouldn’t be hard - yet, in Camden, where the unemployment rate is 8.9% (vs. NJ at 4.1%) and the poverty rate is 37.4% (vs. NJ at 10.7%), it is.

Camden is important to me - my mom taught in a difficult part of this struggling city for many years. Many of us at Linode volunteered at her school, reading to students. I live only a few miles away.

Knowing Camden’s struggles, I was even more impressed with each and every person I met at the code day - employees, volunteers, programmers, students, entrepreneurs, and judges alike. Their mission - “to provide a positive, healing atmosphere that propels young people to build strong futures and break the cycle of violence and poverty in Camden” - was evident. Hopeworks hopes to better Camden’s youth through an amazing program that myself and Linode hope to support long-term.

I wanted to congratulate all of the incredibly talented and inspiring entrepreneurs who presented at the Pitch Competition. Every pitch was engaging, thoughtful, and inspiring. Below, I’ve included a list of the entrepreneurs who presented and links to their burgeoning businesses where I could. Please visit each and support them if you can, and, if you’re looking for a way to get involved in Hopeworks, please take a look at how to be a donor or volunteer.


I'm Rick Myers, Senior Director of Customer Support at Akamai. Before we were acquired, I was the Vice President of Customer Support & Success at Linode. I also serve on the Board of Directors and chair the People Committee at Hopeworks. Before Linode, I worked at Apple. You can follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, or send me an email.

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