Urban Hip Tech Foundation in Los Angeles, CA Announces Community Coding Classes for Youth, Aged Out Foster Kids and Ex-Cons.

“Freeway” Rick Ross and Corvain Cooper team up with Urban Hip Tech Foundation to help the next generation pivot from crime to coding with “Coding in the Hood” classes starting May 1, 2021.


LOS ANGELES, CACorvain Cooper, the former South Central resident who was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2014 for a non-violent marijuana charge and later pardoned by President Donald Trump, will return to his roots as an Ambassador for the “Crime to Coding” program by the Urban Hip Tech Foundation (UHTF). Cooper and other adults, youth, stakeholders and elected officials, will gather at the “Big House” community hub in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 12 Noon. The “Coding in the Hood” kick-off event will include provide information about careers in coding and offer details about the UHTF coding classes that start May 1st. RSVP is required. Interested parties must register by emailing [email protected] To learn more visit: https://urbanhiptech.com.

Urban Hip Tech Foundation, founded by nationally renowned economist, Dr. Lance McCarthy and entrepreneur Paul E. Hiles, was founded to provide coding, job placement and entrepreneurship training to youth and former inmates. “There is a direct correlation between the lack of skills and crime,” states Dr Lance McCarthy, economist and Urban Hip Tech Co-Founder. “When individuals can’t get jobs they often turn to crime. The good news is, there are companies currently seeking tech talent and there is a reservoir of talent waiting to be trained. We exist to help meet that need.”

Corvain Cooper, an Ambassador for UHTF, was one of 142 individuals granted clemency by President Trump for marijuana-related charges. He believes technology is the key to helping young people chart a new path. “Because of my choices, I missed 10 years of my daughters’ lives. Now, I’m here, and we are learning coding together as a family,” says Cooper.

One of the most notable former drug traffickers from South Central, “Freeway” Rick Ross, is also an Ambassador with the program. Ross turned to the drug economy as a teen when he wasn’t eligible for a tennis scholarship to college due to his illiteracy. “Our communities are full of genius—and we can rebuild our communities by tapping into that genius. The Urban Hip Tech Foundation is doing that,” states Ross.

Urban Hip Tech Foundation founders share that the connection between the Hip Hop world and tech is strong. And while every rapper, entertainer and influencer uses and promotes technology daily, the Black community doesn’t actually own much technology, and many don’t have sufficient access to technology in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Urban Hip Tech Foundation has partnered with successful coding courses nationally, to serve both ex-felons and youth alike—with a long-term vision to help rebuild urban America. UHTF Co-founder Paul E. Hiles is an ex-felon who upon returning home, established restaurants, mortgage companies and created jobs in the community.

Co-founder Dr. Lance McCarthy is an economist who has advised two U.S. Presidents on economics and conducted a TED Talk on African Americans and Technology. The Urban Hip Tech Foundation team believes they can find tech talent in urban America and grow it.

UHTF views the involvement of formerly incarcerated individuals as important and authentic. “As a formerly incarcerated inmate, I wanted to create a platform that provides men and women opportunities to sustain themselves and their families,” shares Paul E. Hiles, Co-Founder of UHTF.

About Urban Hip Tech Foundation

Urban Hip Tech Foundation (UTHF) is a community-based organization in South Central Los Angeles that is designed to galvanize those underrepresented in the technology industry and shift the trajectory of their future by teaching tech literacy, critical thinking and entrepreneurship. The Urban Hip Tech mission is to transform the ecosystem of urban communities into innovative technology hubs that serve as a catalyst to increase Black and Brown representation in the technology industry. Urban Hip Tech is establishing a blueprint for world-class technical training and providing the necessary resources for Black and Brown people to excel in tech—with an emphasis on connecting tech and social justice leaders for the purposes of building revolutionary programs that benefit Youth/At-Risk Youth and advance the successful reintegration of former inmates into society. To learn more visit: https://urbanhiptech.com.

About The Big House

The Big House is a community co-working space in South Central Los Angeles. Originally built in 1911, the home houses minority businesses—both Black and Brown. The Big House offers business support services to young startup companies in a nurturing environment. Services include entrepreneurship training and collaboration strategies. The Big House is run by serial entrepreneur Jorge Nuno, who is a successful example of an urban entrepreneur.