he New Nerd CS + Personal Development Virtual Summer Camp created a safe haven for idle youth impacted by a global pandemic that had severely affected the country. For those students dealing with the frustration associated with a new normal of quarantine and staying at home, the camp provided a safe, fun way for youth to learn about computer programming and to be mentored by one of their own.

Chicago teen Ian Michael Brock, a 16-year-old, Gen Z “tech activist,” conducted the daily sessions of his own virtual computer science summer camp, conceived to benefit hundreds of black and brown youth. Embracing his goal of “engaging the minds of youth in something challenging, constructive and potentially life-changing,” hundreds of young people all across the country enjoyed his instruction. McDonald’s took notice, officially supporting Brock’s Dream Hustle Code non-profit as the lead sponsor of the Virtual Summer Camp.

The timing of McDonald’s support of Brock’s “New Nerd CS + Personal Development Virtual Summer Camp,” aligned with the brand’s Black & Positively Golden® movement, could hardly be better.  “I’m pleased and proud that a large, respected global company like McDonald’s sees this work, and recognizes how far-reaching it can be in touching, engaging and inspiring our youth,” says Brock. “With this new level and caliber of support, I intend to work even harder to show them what my platform can achieve, how young lives and futures can be transformed, as well as an accurate image of our generation,” he adds. “It’s within our power to change the narrative.”

The young Mr. Brock, ably guided by his doting parents, Michael and Dulcevita Brock, says he believes that this broad-based support will, in-turn, lead to greater dialogue about the importance of immersing black and brown youth into experiencing the joys of, and ultimately, embracing Computer Science as a possible career path. And McDonald’s could hardly agree more.

“McDonald’s is proud to partner with Ian Brock and Dream Hustle Code on this important and inspiring work,” says Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director of Marketing, Cultural Engagement, McDonald’s USA. “Through our Black & Positively Golden movement, we are committed to providing opportunities for the next generation of leaders and giving back to the communities we serve. Diversity and community support are at our core, so we’re thrilled to help Ian and Dream Hustle Code positively impact youth this summer.”

Targeted to 5th through 9th graders, Brock’s camp featured patient, focused instruction combining computer programming and personal development. The hybrid, online class introduced JavaScript through Code with Google’s Grasshopper application. The courses will continue through the fall academic semester to support after school virtual programs. And, to address students with shorter attention spans, Brock astutely commingles the most current popular music to make the sessions relatable and fun.

A virtual instruction veteran, Ian Brock has coached and mentored youth across 28 U.S. states, Canada, Philippines and Africa, owing to the distance learning mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic. His work in technology is rooted in Dream Hustle Code®, the nonprofit organization he co-founded to bring access to Computer Science education to youth from communities underrepresented in tech. He has twice been invited to speak at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View and Los Angeles, California, and dreams of a day when racial, educational and economic inequality are things of the past.