Army vet uses coding to teach kids how to problem solve


From serving in the Army to living in his car, a veteran in Northern Virginia isn't a stranger to finding solutions in tough situations.

CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM) — From serving in the Army to living in his car, a veteran in Northern Virginia isn’t a stranger to finding solutions in tough situations.

After being honorably discharged from the Army in 2006, Quinton Jones’ housing situation fell through. He lived in his car for about six months, working as a cable repairman, before finding Per Scholas: a nonprofit that teaches underserved communities how to code.

“The technology that we use every day is getting more and more complex — using code all the time,” said Jones. “If you’re going to be able to get out of bed, probably in the next 10 years, you’re going to need to be able to code.”

Jones graduated with certifications in CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+. He used his skills at Easterseals, helping wounded warriors, veterans, and active-duty military members learn how to code: a chance, he says, at helping his brothers and sisters.

Quinton Jones served in the United States Army from 2002 and 2006. He joined shortly after the 9/11 attacks.

“I love being [a] part of change like that and that’s part of the reason I love being a Code Ninja is I can do that almost two generations below me. That’s awesome,” Jones said.

Now, Jones is teaching kids how to troubleshoot at a young age. Just three weeks ago, Jones starting working for Code Ninja’s Chantilly location as the center director. “We’ve actually created a curriculum that goes from belts one through nine and as you get to black belt you actually have the ability to push your own game out into the app world,” said Jones.

Code Ninja’s curriculum is personalized for each child, but Jones says most students are expected to master all types of coding in about four years. “I have big plans for the future, but this is a great place to start.”

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