SportTechie’s Athletes Voice series features the views and opinions of the athletes who use and are powered by technology. Recently, SportTechie chatted with retired NFL defensive tackle, and Super Bowl XXXVII champion, Ellis Wyms, who spent eight years in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. Wyms recently founded educational nonprofit Athletes for Computer Science.
Ellis Wyms grew up in a small town in northwestern Mississippi called Indianola, a 30-minute drive from the Mississippi River and Arkansas border. His school system lacked access to the types of educational resources that might have benefitted kids in larger programs in bigger cities.
Believing that athletes with social capital can use their influence to inspire kids age eight to 12 to both set and achieve lofty life goals, Wyms, now 39, launched Athletes for Computer Science. Supported by the Wyms Foundation, AFCS is a program that aims to teach children in underprivileged districts about computer science, technology and coding. It deploys athlete ambassadors who share their stories about life, education, and success. In its first year, the program has worked with nine elementary schools in four states, reaching more than 500 kids who have written more than 100,000 lines of code.
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