Straight A Senior Alexis Talks Coding at West-MEC


Alexis Leffew is in the West-MEC Coding Program. Alexis gets straight A’s, she had perfect attendance for coding in year one and earned her three dual enrollment credits from GCC via the coding program.

Q. You are in the coding program at West-MEC, tell us a little more about that?

A. The CTE coding program at the Start West-MEC campus is a two-year long course that extensively teaches the ins and outs of web design and programming. By the end of this course, I will have the chance to take a JavaScript certification test that will certify me as a JavaScript developer. This will enable me to be hired into the industry right after high school. Our campus was built with business in my mind; we have real business anchors on campus that work in our building. Having them on our campus opens the door to network with them and ask them questions about business. Our coding program is also affiliated with the FBLA organization, and they took a group of students to the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, CA this past summer.

Q. What does your typical day look like when attending school and West-MEC?

A. My home high school is Agua Fria, and they have a six-class schedule in which I only take four and then have early release at 12 P.M. After I leave high school, I head over to the Start West-MEC campus, which is about 15 minutes away, and start class at 1 P.M. Everyone wears the coding uniform; a blue or gray collared shirt with the West-MEC logo and program embroidered on it, pants, and close-toed shoes. Then, we each grab a MacBook Pro and sit where desired. Our second year instructor, Mark Buckler, has a lifetime of experience in computer science. He has written quite a few of the Microsoft exams and the JavaScript certification exam that we’re going to take at the end of the year. Throughout the day we take notes and work on programming exercises to help develop our skills under an instructor who has professional experience in the industry.

Q. You also receive straight A’s and have a perfect attendance record. What is one thing that aspires you to do so well in school?

A. The way I see it is, if I’m going to be at school, then I need to do my best. You don’t get a second chance at high school when you start to realize the importance of setting yourself up for a better future. Attending the coding program at the West-MEC Start campus has revolutionized high school, as we now know it. Every day that I am attending the coding program, I am in a professional environment geared toward my future. That is so incredibly important to me. Everything about the Start campus encompasses our future as coders and drives us forward in the industry.

Q. What would be your dream job after you graduate?

A. I would love to become a videogame developer. My job would be to program video games for a living, and that would be a ton of fun. My passion is to bring God and video games closer together. I’ve always loved expressing my creativity, and with code I feel like it’d be just enough of a challenge for me to learn something new everyday, yet have a lot of fun while doing it.

Q. You also have a twin, how cool! Tell us a little bit about what that is like?

A. Having a twin is like being born with a best friend. You may not get along with each other in the beginning, but you eventually come around and realize that you have a lot in common. You grow up with each other, go through school together, and experience life’s many trials together. Through it all, they are always there to lean on. I have never had to experience a first day of school without her, and on graduation day, she’ll be right by my side.

Q. Did you do anything outstanding this summer?

A. I took this summer to reflect on everything I did at West-MEC and where I’ll be going after high school. I decided that this year I’d try to ask more questions, dig deeper, and become the best version of me that I possibly can be.

Alexis is a senior at Aqua Fria High School and Attends West-MEC Coding Program



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