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Students get to code a computer game, but the goal is to inspire a career in technology

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Posted at 7:03 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 19:03:06-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — While most eighth grade students are playing video games, Mario Jemison is building one.

“It’s interesting. I like games and making games,” Jemison told 7 Eyewitness News at Westminster Community Charter School - one of the schools where M&T Bank launched its Coders Club pilot program.

“It’s a pretty special thing for us, who have chosen a career in technology, to bring it to kids,” said Michael Wisler, M&T Bank Chief Information Officer.

Jemison's game involves a bear trying to collect apples while a dinosaur chases it.

"My favorite part is to see how my game came together and playing it," he said.

16 students graduated from the six-week Coders Club program, an initiative designed and led by M&T Tech, the bank’s technology division.

“We believe Buffalo’s technology talent pipeline should start in our community’s schools, and we want more local students to have access to the opportunities available in the tech sector," Wisler said.

Wisler hopes to scale the program into more schools across Western New York.