2021 Daymond John Coding Our Future Scholarship Spotlight!

iD Tech in action

This month, we are thrilled to highlight Daymond John’s Coding Our Future Scholarship program and three of its amazing recipients. Daymond John, Founder & CEO of FUBU and Star of Shark Tank, recently appeared alongside the scholars on Good Day New York to discuss entrepreneurship and share their experiences with the scholarship program.

“Daymond John is a shark when it comes to business and now he’s guiding the next generation of entrepreneurs. He’s sponsoring 100 students from Brooklyn, his home borough, to help their ideas come to life,” said Good Day New York host Rosanna Scotto. 

To bring those ideas to the next level, students need tools, expertise, and mentorship they won’t find in typical school curriculum: this is just one of many reasons his course is a game-changer for kids.

“You do not get this in school normally because they don’t show you that, if you are interested in design, they don’t show you how to apply it in a business format to attract customers,” Daymond said. 

“Yes, you will learn design, but how do you attract customers or people to work with you in the future with this knowledge?”

According to Daymond, all kids should learn about entrepreneurship; the skills and the mindset involved are as valuable in business as they are in life. After all, he is known as “The People’s Shark” for good reason; he believes in empowering others and investing in relationships. 

Daymond sees himself in these young entrepreneurs and is passionate about giving them the tools to succeed and encouraging each and every student to learn from his experience. 

“I see myself in every one of these young men and women because they’re smarter than me! I didn’t really start studying what I needed to do until I was 20, so they’re already ahead of the game.”

Check out the full Good Day New York segment here! Now, let’s meet scholarship recipients Jamez, Joey, and Shirley, hear Daymond’s advice for each of these talented young people, and take a closer look at the skills they built in his entrepreneurship course. 

Meet Jamez!

As Daymond John pointed out, “You can open up your phone and become a millionaire these days.” 

By helping others set up Shopify stores for their businesses, Jamez, 17, hopes to pursue that entrepreneurial path using today’s tech!

This summer, Jamez participated in Entrepreneurship with Daymond John, The People’s Shark and refined his business ideas. Not only was he able to gain new entrepreneurial skills, he increased his self-confidence and drive to pursue his dreams.

“It made me feel more confident in what I do. It honestly made me feel like an expert,” Jamez said. In a Q&A, we learned more about Jamez’s experience in the course and future goals.

Can you tell us about yourself and what you love to do? 

I am Jamez, currently a rising senior, and I love having a voice where I can express what I believe in which is why I love marketing and advertising.

What was your initial reaction when you received the call from Daymond John? 

I was so shocked, I really couldn't believe it; it was like one of the craziest things to ever happen to me.

Can you tell us about an instructor or friend that you met at camp and what they are like? 

My instructor was great, she helped me all throughout and honestly she was always down to help me in any way that I needed.

Tell us a story about your favorite moment from camp. 

I remember saying “will I be good at this?” at the beginning of the camp but after some practice I got way better, and the results were outstanding.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I want to own one of the biggest movement platforms whether that be through my name, my presence, or a company that I own.

Meet Joey!

With several iD Tech courses already under his belt, Joey, currently in 8th grade, stepped into the entrepreneurship class with a specific goal in mind. 

“I needed help with a business plan for my business called Joey and Mei2 Creations. It helps orphans; 25% of the profits go to orphans in China...I want to know how to make a better product and business plan,” Joey said.  

According to Daymond John, Joey’s ideas align with what 21st century customers want to see, “Today’s consumer wants to know what you’re doing for somebody else, like my company Bombas socks. He wants to create a product that also helps others at the same time,” Daymond said. 

Daymond also gave his insights on how Joey’s technology skills could give him a competitive edge in today’s market, “He’s studying 3D printing. 3D printing is important because usually people say, “I need a million dollars to get a sample”; no, he’s going to get a sample for ten dollars and show how this product works, and then sell it and realize if he has a business or not,” Daymond said.   

We’re so excited to see where Joey’s STEM journey takes him next. Here are a few more fun facts about this budding entrepreneur! 

STEM Experience: I am very interested in 3D printing and went to iD Tech Camps for it. In my SMATH (Science and Math) class this year I learned about Periodic Elements, different types of energy, and did a project on the best way to power a farm and city. I enjoy playing Minecraft, Roblox, and Clash of Clans.

Long Term Academic Goals: I want to learn Spanish and Chinese because then I could talk to a lot more people, and I could use it to get a job.

Meet Shirley! 

Shirley, a high school senior, focused her time in the entrepreneurship course on creating a logo for her family’s Brooklyn restaurant, Bistro 280.  

Through the course, she was able to level up her graphic design skills and create a logo that represents the restaurant, “I feel like the skills I got from the program truly helped me,” Shirley said when reflecting on her experience. 

The importance of branding, logos, and marketing cannot be understated, as Daymond pointed out, “These are all important because the first thing somebody sees of your brand is your logo, whether it’s Nike, FUBU, or Apple, that’s what we think about. Branding is what separates you initially from a lot of people and companies, so that’s important.”

Shirley is passionate about technology, and we’re confident that she’s destined for great things in the future. See in Shirley’s own words what STEM means to her:

STEM Experience: I have always implemented STEM throughout my school life as well as personally. I was exposed to STEM at a young age as in fourth grade as I joined an intrepid program where we were exposed to engineering as well as the technology advancements made with a mix of history. I was fascinated when they gave me the opportunity to make my own 3D model. 

This sparked my interest in technology and how far it has come. I started dreaming of the changes and improvements I could make. I was then given the opportunity to join the STEM Robotics program during seventh grade. I was overall fascinated by the trial and error that we had to go through but it was all worth it for that rush when I finished it. 

That instant, I grew fond of mathematics as well as technology. I have now been able to enhance my skill set through this mastering leadership program that allowed me to expand my knowledge and better prepare me regarding technology and techniques.

Favorite Subject: Mathematics

Academic Goal: My long term academic goal has been to excel and graduate from college with my Master’s in business, specifically finance!

For each of these amazing young people, the journey is just beginning. And with Daymond John’s expertise, their personal drive, and the power of tech, we know there is no limit to what they can accomplish! 

Inspiring Scholars, Coding Our Future

This summer, we were honored to hear more wisdom from Daymond John as part of our Empowerment Speaker Series for 400 scholars from our Coding Our Future Salesforce initiative. The series also featured tech luminaries including Rachel Williams of, X, the moonshot factory, Gerard Andrews of NVIDIA, Jennifer Stredler of Salesforce, and many more! 

The series encouraged kids to, in the words of panelist Veera Vengalla, “Pursue your passion and just do it. There is no limit.” 

This advice really took hold with the scholars. “[This program] has caused me to be super present and learn how to go above and beyond in what I strive to do. The speaker series was the highlight and I looked forward to seeing the team and the amazing lineups! I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and success in business,  I learned that I have to soul search my why,” said Shemeliah G., a Coding Our Future Salesforce scholar.  

iD Tech’s Social Impact work is fundamental to our core values. Now more than ever, kids need support and encouragement to realize their potential. Learn more about our Social Impact initiatives and scholarship opportunities here

A photo of Virginia

Virginia started with iD Tech at the University of Denver in 2015 and has loved every minute since then! A former teacher by trade, she has a master's in education and loves working to embolden the next generation through STEM. Outside the office, you can usually find her reading a good book, struggling on a yoga mat, or exploring the Rocky Mountains.