Juniors Dylan Westland, Pasha Jandaghi, Matthew McHugh, and Charles Fregozo have recently founded the Computer Science Club at Loyola as well as the Ignatian Coding non-profit organization. The club meets every Wednesday via Zoom with around 25 participants.
Jandaghi said, “I gain a sense of fulfillment knowing that I am helping younger children and honing a passion for an important subject.”
In a modern society dominated by technology and software, Fregozo has taken the initiative to popularize programming at Loyola. The goal of the Computer Science Club is to help students develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, and creativity. The club welcomes everyone, including novice coders.
Physics and computer science teacher Gerry Cacnio moderates the Computer Science Club. He said, “It [coding]eventually qualified me for personnel and software product management positions.”
Cacnio added, “Coding has played a huge part in the development of my reasoning and problem-solving skills, not to mention the people skills that the most rewarding programming endeavors nurture.”
Joining the Computer Science Club also allows members to join Ignatian Coding, a non-profit that teaches middle school students web design. Members of the club who choose to volunteer for the non-profit will be trained and taught the lesson plans for effective tutoring, and they can earn service hours. The officers have made it clear that they also want to build a sense of community through the Ignatian Coding non-profit.
Westland said, “We were all captivated by the power programming can bring one, and we wanted to share this passion with kids who might not have the resources to learn how to code. We wanted to engage with the community and see the similarities and differences between the very different Loyola populations. We’ve always had a passion for computer science, and it will only continue to increase in importance as time goes on.”
The Computer Science Club will provide a community for people who would typically not have the experience to learn computer science.
McHugh said, “It [coding]always keeps me busy. But I love that. Loyola’s culture has helped me learn time management to achieve goals through experiences that push me past my limits and redefine who I am. The challenges that we will present to the kids will change them for the better.”
The juniors are primarily in control of the whole club, but Cacnio and math and science teacher John Guerrero oversee to make sure everything is running smoothly. The club is currently trying to recruit as many members as possible.