"Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny." - C.S. Lewis
Revealing The Patterns
Understanding my story has revealed a series of critical events that have taken place and a pattern of roles that I've played throughout my life. Without question, there are startling contradictions and dramatic twists in these events and roles, which I have both accepted and appreciated. What I have come to realize is that life is about evolution and transformation; therefore, although some events are incredibly messy, and roles are contradictions and odd, over time it has all prepared me to perfectly discover and execute my mission in life. When spread out over a page and examined, events and roles that were once previously viewed as random and pointless are now seen as meaningful, purposeful and ordained.
1987-92 | Smithsonian (Science & Technology)
When I was 11, I moved to Reston VA, a quiet suburb outside of Washington DC. During this time, I would always take the metro into DC to visit National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History. Additionally, I would spend hours learning about aviation and science, building rockets and model planes, and pulling apart electronics to understand how they worked.
1992-93 | Marine Corp Aviator (Technology)
While attending the Virginia Military Institute I was a biology major and NROTC Marine Corps Option Cadet. I wanted to fly jets but failed my eye exam due to an astigmatism. Discouraged, I chose to focus on biology and the possible pursuit of a career in dentistry.
1997-98 | High School Teacher (Science, Children & Education)
After graduating from college, I had to figure out what to do with my life because I decided to put off attending dental school. As a result, I started teaching science at a high school in Detroit Michigan. During my time there, I learned that I loved teaching and that low-income students didn't have the level of access and support as their higher income counterparts. I ultimately left teaching due to poor pay and conditions, but always felt as if I would return to education at some point in life.
1998-99 | Management Trainee Program (Business)
I was always curious about how businesses worked. After teaching, I accepted a job as a management trainee at a local Detroit company. The program placed me in every department within the company. I became proficient in the financial department, operations, creative services, HR, customer service, sales and warehousing. This insight fueled my fascination with business and sparked my desire to one day start my own company. Also during this time, I decided to take a second swing at dental school.
1999- 2000 | Dental School (Science)
While preparing to attend dental school, I was accepted into a pre-enrollment fellowship program at the University of Michigan. The program was tough for me, due to travel, because I attended school during the day in Ann Arbor Michigan and worked at night in Detroit Michigan. Ultimately, I learned that I didn't have the stomach for dentistry.
2003 | Crazy Billy (Technology)
In 2003, I meet a crazy but super smart programmer named Billy. He would spend hours talking about programming and about how web-based technology would change businesses. As a result of these conversations, and watching him build his own products, I became fascinated with how programming gave someone the ability to cheaply and rapidly build a new service and business.
2003 | Minority Report (Technology)
While watching the science fiction thriller, Minority Report, I noticed how the billboards in the movie personalized their messages according to the people near them. I realized a correlation between the movie and how a mobile phone could allow this very same concept to work [everyone had one in their pocket, it contained information, and you could use it to capture a persons location]. This realization was the spark that catapulted me into my next three startup technology companies.
2009-13 | Tech Startup Life (Technology & Business)
In 2009, I started a company called Gotootie, a location based text messaging service that allowed you to communicate and leave messages for people in your current location. A few years later, we pivoted into Doccaster, a location based
document sharing service that allowed people at conventions to share electronic documents, such as presentations and brochures. The success of this company helped us to get accepted by the number 3 technology startup accelerator in the world, DreamIT Ventures. After leaving DreamIT, we pivoted the company into a product called Constant Insight, which allowed companies like CBS Interactive to build personalized profiles using a persons email address.
2011 | Sierra Leone Africa (Children & Social Justice)
As a result of some faith-based changes in 2011, I took off to Sierra Leone Africa for a month to work with children who were orphaned during the Sierra Leone Civil War. While in the country, I witnessed the massive amounts of social inequities that resulted from the war, and the terrible impact that it had on the most venerable [orphans, widows and the poor]. After my visit, I knew that I had to discover a concept with the use of skills and gifts that I had been given to help fight injustice against children.
2012-14 | Fern Creek Coding Volunteer Project (Technology, Education, Social Justice & Children)
The Fern Creek Coding Program was a volunteer initiative that I started at a local elementary school in Orlando Florida. The goal was to teach a group of 14 gifted 5th graders how to code. During the first few sessions, I noticed that the students showed low enthusiasm for the opportunity to learn how to code. As I tried to solve this problem, I realized that 80% of the students came from low-income families and 20% were homeless. As a result, I determined that many of them were uninterested in the long-term value proposition of coding because the majority were preoccupied with immediate life concerns and conditions, such as lack of food, shelter, and stability.
Growing up in Detroit, I identified with the complex dynamics that impacted the students, and as a result, I asked each of them to write a story about their thoughts and feelings as a way of helping them cope with the emotional fallout from their traumatic, and much too often stressful life experiences. Once the students were finished writing, I asked them to draw their story and then transform the drawing into an animated movie. To create their animations, the students had to learn how to useAlice, a program that makes it easy to create moving animations by teaching them how to code. As a result of this new approach, the students learned basic coding, their enthusiasm about the program significantly increased, and they learned a new method for helping them cope with difficult life circumstances.
2014-15 | SourceCode B46, LLC (Technology, Education, Social Justice & Children)
As a result of the success of the Fern Creek Coding Program, principals and teachers from other elementary schools across Orange County Public Schools began to request the program for their location. Unfortunately, due to the lack of resources required to sustain itself, such as funding and personnel, the volunteer operation was incapable of servicing the increased demand. Understanding these challenges and having a strong desire to live more fully into a life of purpose, I shutdown my existing technology startup and with the help of John Rivers, founder of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, dedicated 100% of my time to turning the Fern Creek Coding Program into SourceCode B46, a for-profit social enterprise.
During the retooling process, my team and I decided that SourceCode B46 would continue to introduce elementary students to coding, but in an effort to better align with classroom objectives, would also use its storytelling process to simultaneously enhance students reading skills. After several months of work, the first SourceCode B46 classes were launched in September 2014 for grades 3 through 5 at Fern Creek Elementary, Lakemont Elementary, Princeton Elementary, Dommerich Elementary, The Orlando Science Center, and Nap Ford Community School. Over the next year, SourceCode B46 expanded into other classrooms across Orange County Public Schools, The YMCA, and the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation. Eventually, the company would serve over 1300 students, accumulate approximately 21K hours of instruction time, and employ 11 instructors to facilitate on-site and online classes.
2016 | Purpose 1.0 Found!
"To help children find and fearlessly move into the power of their unique story." - Kyle Christian Steele
2017 | Purpose Iteration
"To help people find and fearlessly move into the power of their unique story."