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Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of social networking and news site Reddit, may get tons of karma points for his dedication to the Queens tech community.
Ohanian is raising thousands of dollars with a crowdfunding site and through donations at his 31st birthday party for the tech nonprofit Coalition for Queens, which offers classes that teach coding to adults from communities that are traditionally underserved in the technology industry — such as women, minorities and immigrants — as part of its Access Code program.
The goal of the initiative is to foster the Queens tech industry by preparing Queens residents to become developers to work in companies or launch their own startups. The money will go to partial and full scholarships for students in the program, according to the Coalition.
“All I want for my 31st birthday is a new class of Queens natives to carry on the spirit of the internet age and have the skills they need to succeed,” Ohanian posted on the crowdfunding site.
Ohanian has personally donated $1,000, and on his birthday on April 24, he will throw a party for the Coalition, asking residents to donate to the program instead of bringing him gifts, said Jukay Hsu, founder of the nonprofit coalition.
Ohanian started a campaign on Crowdtilt for the program and has raised more than $8,200 so far. He promised that anyone that donates more than $150 will get an autographed copy of his best-selling book, “Without Their Permission.” Also, the person who donates the most money will have the opportunity to have dinner with Ohanian in Queens.
The program costs a hefty $10,000 for each student. Coalition officials had 21 students enrolled the inaugural group last year but are not sure how many students they’ll take on this year as yet.
“It’s really an honor that Alexis Ohanian, a prominent and established tech entrepreneur and investor, is interested in donating funds and his birthday to Coalition for Queens,” Hsu said. “This is a testament to the talent of Queens residents and the potential for them to create great tech companies.”
The site will collect donations until Ohanian’s birthday. Anyone who wishes to donate can click here.