MS Coding Academies Receive $50k Grant from Knight Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation

BILOXI, Miss. (November 21, 2022)- Mississippi Coding Academies (MCA) has been awarded a $50,000.00 grant from the Knight Foundation Fund, a fund of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), established by a generous contribution from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In Biloxi and Gulfport, the Knight Foundation supports a more informed and engaged community by investing in entrepreneurship and the vibrancy of the downtown corridors.

MCA’s goal is to prepare their coding students, primarily underserved high school graduates, for gainful employment with Mississippi companies that desperately need skilled computer programmers who are ready for the modern workplace. The grant will be used to help cover the cost of instructors and will underpin the growth of the program to other locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“We are excited to welcome the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Knight Foundation as cornerstone supporters of the Mississippi Coding Academy’s Biloxi site,” said Mike Forster, Chairman and Co-Founder of Mississippi Coding Academies. “There is complete alignment of our goals and the foundation’s…creating new opportunities for talented young Mississippians so that we retain their intellect and energy to fuel economic growth on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  We have received significant support from the City of Biloxi and our other Gulf Coast stakeholders; adding these Foundations to that group is significant to our program.”

“The Gulf Coast Community Foundation recognizes the importance of having a skilled workforce and its impact on our community,” said Christen Duhé, president and executive director of GCCF. “Training underserved high school graduates that will result in their earning an average of $40,000 a year will have a significant positive effect on the Mississippi Gulf Coast economy.”

Since its inception over five years ago, Mississippi Coding Academies has added over $4.1 million in salaries for their certified coders, which translates to an economic impact of over $20 million to the state’s economy. There are locations in Jackson, Golden Triangle, and Biloxi.

About the John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation

As social investors, Knight Foundation supports democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once published newspapers.

Founded by publishers who owned the largest newspaper company of their time, Knight Foundation is among the leading funders of journalism and media innovation in the country and works to promote more informed and engaged communities. In 2019, Knight doubled its investment in strengthening journalism, announcing $300 million in support over five years focusing on building the future of local news and information. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on social media.

About the Gulf Coast Community Foundation

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation is a non-profit public charity serving the people of South Mississippi since 1989.  The Foundation’s primary mission is to increase philanthropy by assisting donors in establishing endowments and legacy giving plans, making grants to worthy causes, and providing leadership in response to the community’s changing needs. Learn more about GCCF at

About Mississippi Coding Academies

Mississippi Coding Academies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported by local business and civic leaders, employers, and educators. MCA offers the “Mississippi Model” of coding and soft-skills instruction in a simulated workplace environment, graduating full-stack coders in 11 months at no cost to the coders. Funders for MCA include the state of Mississippi’s workforce development funds, community colleges, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and private donations from employers, foundations, and individuals. Learn more about MCA at

Photos: MS Coding Academy and GCCF- L-R: Mike Forster, Chairman and Co-Founder of MCA, Bobby Gillon, past Chair of Biloxi Main St., Andrew Stamps, Director/Senior Instructor of the Biloxi MCA, Christen Duhe, president of GCCF, Rodger Wilder, CEO of GCCF, and Alisha Perry, Director of Donor Programs for GCCF.

MS Coding Academy Students- group of the students in the academy

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