This interview is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative. Campus Philly is featuring the “Philly stories” of Black and Brown tech founders, entrepreneurs, and young professionals who are making an impact in the region, demonstrating why the Philadelphia region IS the most diverse tech hub.
Sylvester Mobley is the founder and CEO of Coded by Kids, an organization that works to ensure that underrepresented young people have the support and resources needed to become the next generation of tech and innovation leaders.
A native of Philadelphia, Sylvester has earned the attention and recognition of his peers after launching and building Coded by Kids – a youth tech education non-profit that grew from serving one child in a Philly rec center to serving hundreds of students in the region. He is a frequent speaker and panelist, focusing on equity in tech and innovation, K–12 technology education, and the role that technology and innovation play in the socioeconomic future of Black people.
Sylvester is a graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business. He is a veteran of the war in Iraq, serving in three branches of the United States military (Marines, Air Force, and Army) over 12 years.
Check out our interview with Sylvester Mobley, Founder and CEO of Coded By Kids, below:
What do you love most about Philadelphia’s tech community?
What I love most about Philadelphia’s tech community is just that—it is a community in the truest sense of the word. People come together when they need to, people support each other, people work together, and it truly feels like a community.
What inspired you to create Coded By Kids?
I was inspired to create Coded By Kids because I believed in more. I believed that our young people deserved more. I believed that our city deserved more. I believed that someone, something, somehow needed to be 100% committed to building a better long-term future for our young people and our city.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated by the drive to build something that has a significant positive impact on the lives of other people. I often think about how we can affect change on a very individual level. How can we change the lives of individual people? How can we ensure that they have access to the opportunities they deserve? How can we ensure that they can move forward the way that they deserve to be able to?
What’s a typical day like for you?
As the CEO of an organization, there is no such thing as a typical day. One day, I could spend the entire day going through financials and budgets and doing reports, and then the very next day, I could spend the entire day doing strategic planning. There’s no such thing as a typical day as a CEO—every day is different than the day before.
Prior to founding Coded By Kids, you served in the military, and held other positions in different companies in Philadelphia. How did these experiences lead you down the path of entrepreneurship to ultimately start your own company?
My experiences prior to starting Coded By Kids led me down the path to starting my own organization by enabling me to see all the things that I could accomplish by building something from the ground up and pushing it forward, and the impact that I could have by building something that I truly believed in.
Learn more about Sylvester Mobley and Coded By Kids by visiting CodedByKids.com, and find out how YOU can be the next Tech and Innovation Intern (they’re hiring for eight positions!) on the Campus Philly Job Board.