The Imprints Of Prince: Musician Inspired Massive Code-Teaching Initiative

The world lost a musical icon this week with the passing of Prince, but until his demise, few of his fans knew of the inspiration he'd offered, bringing about more adeptness and awareness for the future via technology.  No, not the song about partying like it was 1999 (although that was tremendously pertinent at the time.)  After an inspiring discussion with a proactive friend, Prince used his influence to support a nonprofit means of teaching kids how to write computer code.

He wants kids to rock hacks as well as he rocks an axe.
Which is to say, crazy good.
(Image courtesy

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the world-renowned guitarist, composer, and general intriguing personality at the helm of classics like "Purple Rain" also inspired his friend Van Jones to help disenfranchised youths learn how to write computer code.

The face of a mastermind.
(Image courtesy

Jones recounted the tale of their inspiration to create YesWeCode, a nonprofit educational service that is allied with hiss larger charity called Rebuild The Dream.
"After the Trayvon Martin verdict I was talking to Prince and he said, 'You know, every time people see a young black man wearing a hoodie, they think, he's a thug. But if they see a young white guy wearing a hoodie they think, oh that might be Mark Zuckerberg. That might be a dot-com billionaire.' 
"I said, 'Well, yeah, Prince that's true but that's because of racism.' And he said, 'No, it's because we have not produced enough black Mark Zuckerbergs. That's on us. That's on us. To deal with what we're not doing to get our young people prepared to be a part of this new information economy.'"
The government should want to hire this kid, not kill him.
(Image courtesy

According to CNN Money, YesWeCode currently seeks to educate 100,000 teenagers on the craft of code-writing.  Their efforts could provide a dynamic new talent pool for tech companies, as well as an innovative new means of training young people for a valuable specialized skill.  A page on the YesWeCode website pays tribute to the musician's massive support of their organization and overall continued pursuit of knowledge.

Even if you can't play the keyboards, you can still kick ass via computer keys.
(Image courtesy

"He really believed that young people could change the world," said Jones.

Oh, and speaking of changing the world, Prince was so good at it, he even managed to shine back from the heavens.  NASA Goddard posted the following purple nebula photo as part of their tribute to the Artist Formerly Known As Just An Artist.  

"Some stars shine more brightly than others. RIP Prince."
-NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center, via Facebook.
You know you're a good artist when you're inspiring scientists!
(Image courtesy


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