A New Mexico company is inspiring local students to pursue a career in science and computer programming. 

“I’m actually really passionate about it,” said Javier Soliz, a freshman at the University of New Mexico. 

Mekhi and Javier are both interested in pursuing careers in computer science, but they didn’t always know this was the path they wanted to take. 

“At first I didn’t know that much about coding, it was really dull,” said Javier. 

The teens say a New Mexico based company, Cultivating Coders, is to thank for their new found passion. 

“Simply spending some time in the classroom, the classroom environment and seeing what I was creating really sparked my interest,” said Mekhi Majedi, a junior at Albuquerque High School. 

Cultivating Coders opened in Albuquerque in 2015, after the founder Charles Ashley III made a big realization.

“Wherever we were going, all of these computer science conferences, it would be nothing but young white males or Asian American males,” said Charles Ashley III, founder of Cultivating Coders. 

Since then, he’s made it his mission to provide opportunities to kids of color in New Mexico.

“That’s what our program is really for, it’s to engage and inspire them to go on to do amazing things,” said Charles. 

Now ten of the students in the program will be making a trip to the Netherlands to gain experience in hacking and cybersecurity measures. 

They’ll come back with even more practice in the language of computer programming, on their way to becoming the next generation of coders. The group leaves for the Netherlands on Saturday. The trip is being sponsored by the United States Embassy.