Living

2018 Modesto Bee 20 Under 40 Honoree | Emmanuel Escamilla

Emmanuel Escamilla, the founder of CodeX is pictured on Friday August 3, 2018 in Modesto, Calif. He is a Modesto Bee 20 Under 40 honoree.
Emmanuel Escamilla, the founder of CodeX is pictured on Friday August 3, 2018 in Modesto, Calif. He is a Modesto Bee 20 Under 40 honoree. jlee@modbee.com

FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING, WHY?

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

It is a constant reminder that with the uncertainty that comes in life’s journey, risk is something not to be feared, but embraced. My faith encourages me to take challenges head-on.

COMMUNITY OR PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS:

After graduating UC Berkeley in 2015, CodeX launched its first summer camp at Hanshaw Middle School. The opportunity to work with students from the community I grew up in was fulfilling. In 2016, I won the Westly Prize for Young Innovators in California, and in the same year, students from CodeX won the Congressional App Challenge. In 2017, two CodeX students from Ustach Middle School were recognized by Congress in Washington D.C. for their app “Homeless Network.” And in 2018, I had the honor of graduating with a Master’s Degree from Harvard University. Beyond CodeX and my education, what I am most proud of is the support, friendships, and impact that have come working closely with South Modesto Partnerships, Apostolic Jubilee Center, and DataPath, Inc. to impact our local communities.

YOUR LIFE CHANGED WHEN:

I was accepted into Harvard University. Growing up, I never thought college was an option, let alone the opportunity to study across the country. During my time there I was exposed to new ways of thinking and a skill set I intend to use to change the world.

WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW MOST ABOUT YOU?

That I believe in them, and in the influence they possess to make a positive impact in our city.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LIVING HERE?

A city is only as strong as its people – and there are so many great ones locally. I have had the privilege to build relationships with individuals whom I admire, and they have become my mentors and friends. They have exposed me to what is possible and helped me become a stronger leader. I am grateful for those who have committed themselves to this city, and to empowering the next generation of visionaries.

WHY IS COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IMPORTANT?

I am a product of what happens when people selflessly give their time, energy, and resources to investing in the local community. Involvement matters because there are areas around us that need to be exposed to the skills and world views we possess. When we invest in the community, we help others image how life can be different while we learn more about the world. We are all called to cross-pollinate: we are meant to get out of our homes, our cultures, our races, and get around people who stretch us, so we can grow and broaden ourselves from narrow-minded perspectives. Community involvement is a catalyst for this.

At A Glance

  • Age: 27
  • Occupation: Student, Harvard University; Founder, CodeX Program
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