Mentor FAQ: 

What events can I get involved in?

JANJ NextGen Tech Series hosts a variety of events for students throughout the year, and we always welcome corporate professionals looking to help! Here is a short description of each of our events:

HackJA:

A 24-hour student hackathon for 100-150 high schoolers planned by New Jersey high school students. In a hackathon, students are assigned tasks and challenges that are related to computer science and information technology. Students also get to participate in workshops and meet with mentors from various companies. It is a valuable experience for all students, regardless of whether they have no coding experience or are a coding master. 

Crack the Code: 

A series of workshops aimed to inspire the younger generation to pursue careers in STEM. Our workshops tackle many topics including Web Development, Python, and Cybersecurity, and more. These coding workshops will typically take place in two hour sessions on Saturday afternoons. Students from grades 4th-8th are able to join,

Code Camp: 

Throughout the summer, NextGen hosts virtual, three-day coding bootcamps for students grades 8-12. These events are completely free and open to all interested students in middle and high school. During Code Camp, students have the opportunity to explore a variety of skills, from building websites to learning Java. Students are guided by our experienced JA Staff and passionate industry professionals (like you!).

What type of training is involved?

Before each event, mentors meet with the JA Program Manager on a brief zoom call to get a rundown of the event and an idea of what their responsibilities will be. 

What is the time commitment for each event?

For HackJA, a 24-hour event, volunteers can sign up for as many time slots as they would like. For Crack the Code workshops, which are 2-hour events, volunteers are expected to stay for the entirety of the event. 

What is Junior Achievement?

Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization geared towards preparing young people in grades K-12 to succeed in a global economy through real world relationships with business, government, and education partners to help them develop the employability and financial literacy skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. Our innovative hands-on curriculum – provided at no cost to schools, students, or their families – emphasizes real world learning experiences and motivates youth to achieve by connecting them with corporate and community role models committed to investing in their future.​

What if I don't work in coding or technology?

No worries! Not all students who attend our events are looking to get into a career that focuses on coding or technology. You can still talk to them about your career path and what advice you have for young people. Your experiences and advice are invaluable for these students!

What is my role as a volunteer?

1. Sharing your college, career, and life experiences 

Most students participating in the workshops are looking to go to college to get into their chosen career path. Sharing your experiences with college, networking, and getting into your career can be invaluable for high school students, even if your career path might be different than what the student is looking to do! ​

2. Helping students with their projects/challenges 

As students work on their projects and challenges, they can always use a fresh or more experienced perspective on their work. Offer any advice you can; even if you don’t have a coding/tech background, you have different and unique insights that can help students achieve their best!

How will judging work during hackathons?

After students submit their projects, judges score them to determine prizes! There is no coding or technology background requirement to be a judge. Judges are given rubrics for each challenge. It typically runs from 12pm-4pm on Saturday.