Moawia Eldeeb

A successful 24-year-old Egyptian entrepreneur who missed years of school to help his family survive.

Born in a small village in Egypt, Moawia Eldeeb was going to be a farmer like his father, grandfather, and generations before him. Then his younger brother was born with a rare genetic disorder. He has no sweat glands, so Egypt’s dry, brutal heat would kill him.

His family had no choice. They sold everything and moved to Queens, but surviving was hard. Moawia’s father worked 12 hours a day in a pizzeria, but it wasn’t enough to cover their expenses. So at 12 years old, Moawia started working 12-hour shifts in the pizzeria.

Two years later his home burned down, but this was a blessing. They moved to a shelter, and for the first time, Moawia could focus on studying, not working. He was 14 years old, but reading at a first-grade level, so he couldn’t go back to school. Instead, he went to the library, where he spent hours studying educational videos and caught up to his class within a year. His incredible talents and intelligence were unleashed.

Moawia’s family moved to the Queensbridge Projects, and Moawia blazed ahead at school. By 20, he had a bachelor’s in applied math, but he had no idea what to do with it until he heard about Coalition for Queens. At C4Q he learned to code, met entrepreneurs, and was exposed to a new world of possibilities. More than skills, he found a dream and gained the confidence to pursue it. Now he is the co-founder and CEO of a tech company valued at $7 million.

C4Q’s Access Code is a 10-month job training program that teaches individuals from underserved communities to code and helps them get jobs at top tech companies. Graduates of the program have gone on to work at companies like Pinterest, Buzzfeed, J.P.Morgan, and Spotify. For instance, a graduate could quadruple his or her annual income, going from an $18,000 retail job to making $80,000 as a software developer.