Community Gem: Retired educator, Army officer helps underprivileged youth learn coding

Lawrence Lindsey. Contributed by Lawrence Lindsey.
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Lawrence Lindsey. Contributed by Lawrence Lindsey.

DAYTON — As a former educator and Army officer, Lawrence Lindsey knows the importance of getting access to computers.

Lindsey runs an after-school program, Back to Basics Youth Education Center, at 120 W. 2nd St., suite 611, in downtown Dayton for kids who don’t have access to computers and who want to learn programming.

“My real success stories are two of my kids are going into the Air Force, and they’re going to be Information Technology Network specialists,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey was nominated a Dayton Daily News Community Gem for his work on the after-school program by Joyce Willingham.

“Lindsey is a passionate coach, mentor, and role model to inner city youth of Dayton,” Willingham said.

“He just brings a positive model to the forefront for these students.”

Lindsey grew up in Dayton and went to Dunbar High School. While volunteering at his old high school after moving back from Fairfax, Virginia, Lindsey said he noticed there were no computer labs.

He started the program to give back to the community and teach kids who needed something to do after school skills for web design and coding.

He hasn’t done it alone. Lindsey noted he has many donors, tutors and teachers who have helped him get students into the program, teach students and fund the center.

Lindsey said he sees himself in the kids that come to his after-school program.

“I just wish that I could get more students who are not having the support they need at all,” Lindsey said.

Lindsey can be reached at http://www.lbtbyec.org/. The program is accepting donations and students.