Student Testimonials

It is good to do for yourself, it is even better to do for others… You embody exactly that. If no one else, one of my main motivations was to make you proud. Your validation certainly hits different and I think myself and the rest of the cohort can agree on that. But it’s even bigger than that. It has been about making sure I succeed so that the next person after me can do the same thing. You always said that we have to bring others with us and my intention is to do just that, and more. You truly inspire me and it has been the pleasure of my life to be taught how to code by a black man. When I look at you, I see myself. I feel capable. Maybe I would feel intimidated or as though I cannot relate, but you, Leon, have always went above and beyond to relate to us, to teach in a language we understand, to truly see us. I appreciate you wholeheartedly. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do.

-Samantha Casseus / Software Engineer @ PerkinElmer

My parents have always been my only role models. I’ve met many interesting, impressive, and successful people, but I’ve never thought to myself “I want to be like that person”. I will be striving for the rest of my life to emulate your empathy, discipline, calm and confidence. You change lives every week and in your final moments, there will be no doubt you had a positive impact on the world at-large. I will always strive to reach and surpass that impact, putting to work all the lessons you taught me for the betterment of all our people. Thank you so much for not just giving me technical knowledge, but showing me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever expected. I will always be a member of Leon’s Army and am eager to find ways to work with you in the future.

-Charles De Farias / Software Engineer @ Wayfair

I’m not very good at writing sentimental things, but you’re the best teacher I ever had. You were always super supportive and the RC community itself was very life-changing for me. Thank you for all the work you put into these classes and mini programs.

-Taye Hubbert / Software Engineer @ Constant Contact

At first, I thought I was lucky to have you as a teacher and then I realized that I was even luckier to have you as a mentor. Now, I’m grateful to have gained you as a friend. Your teachings and mentorship are invaluable gifts and I hope to inspire someone else as you’ve inspired me. I admire your tenacity of purpose and can’t wait to do my part to uplift my community as you have.

Thank you for sharing your personal struggles and triumphs and creating a safe space for us to share ours. You’ve not only given us the foundation to become strong developers but also more effective human beings. I truly feel like I am better for having gone through this experience with you leading the way. Thank you for going above and beyond and becoming a mentor and approaching teaching with energy and excitement. I hope you continue to share poems during cliff week. I found comfort and encouragement in them and was able to have cathartic moments through some thug tears.

You’ve opened my eyes to new stages of opportunity and strength. I will forever be grateful for your guidance, kindness, and generosity. Thank you for your patience, for your humor, for your time. Thank you for pushing me to challenge myself and providing words of affirmation at the most important times. May the universe continue to bless your days. We out here!

-Raey Abera / Software Engineer @ Wayfair

Over the course of the last 3 ½ months, I have had the profound pleasure of being in the presence of Leon. I had no clue coming into this program that I would ever find a life mentor - someone who I strive to make sure I never let down. I’ll never forget a conversation Leon and I had in which I told him I have a list of people and things that motivate me. I refer to this list when I feel I’m falling off track. About half way through the program, I added Leon to this list. Simply put he is a beacon of black excellence and understands that in order for us to prosper you have to reach back and help the community. After telling Leon that he made it to my motivation list, he told me something to the effect that motivation fades, discipline remains. No one call tell if your going 100%. Only you can determine that. From that moment, I took a deep look at myself to see if I was doing everything needed to succeed. There are many more instances where he pushed me further that anyone else and for that I am forever grateful. I know that outside of Javascript, Node.js, and React, I can come to Leon for life advice. From the bottom of my heart thank you!

-Oraka Wellington / Software Engineer @ PerkinElmer

“No one’s opinion ever mattered before” I remember a week where I was just having a really rough time in my personal life & I had to leave early that day. The very next class, you had us write inspirational messages to ourselves. It might’ve not been a lot but it was everything to me at the time! Forever grateful for your mentorship & your belief in me. Thank you.

-Kenda Lamandier / Software Engineer @ Wayfair

Leon consistently demonstrates not only his deep understanding of the Front-End Development field, but also the analytical skills to present his knowledge in a way that any audience can comprehend. Having worked with him teaching 7th graders Front End development, I have personally seen students grasp the content and articulate it with confidence back to their fellow students and parents. Leon is able to bridge the complexity that is involved with development and tailor it to any individual, and most importantly he does it with a true demonstration of passion in his craft.

-Moises Silva / Web Developer II @ Christian Science Monitor

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