From flying to riding a boat to visiting some of the world’s greatest tech companies, it was a trip of firsts for a group of hard working students from West Tennessee who recently traveled from Memphis to the San Francisco Bay area.

The students are participants in CO:de Catalyst, a program administered through TheCO in Jackson. CO:de Catalyst began in 2013 with the goal of improving technology education and to grow talent in West Tennessee. The program utilizes Treehouse, a self-paced web platform that teaches students of all ages how to build a website, learn to code, build an application or start a business.

The San Francisco trip was a prize for students completing a number of special tasks and projects through the Treehouse educational platform. The group was treated to tours of Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Stanford University, the Computer History Museum, Pivotal Labs and TechShop.

Some of the student comments included:

“It’s been a very eye opening experience.”

“I’ve done so many of my ‘I nevers’ I should probably make a list.”

“The sky is the limit. Don’t stop until you’re satisfied. Don’t worry what other people think. If you don’t like what you’re doing, change it, and just put your own twist on things. Don’t ever let somebody else define what you’re doing.”

 “Keep trying. Don’t give up. It’s worth it in the end.”

TheCo is one of Launch Tennessee’s nine regional accelerators located throughout the state. For more information, please watch the video below and visit the

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