BIPOC students gain web design skills while building sites for Black-owned businesses – GeekWire

A student with the Youth Web Design program working on her website. (Image from Youth Web Design video)

Mama Sambusa Kitchen was recently saved from potential financial ruin by a high school student.

Through a new program offered by the Seattle Office of Economic Development and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Mama Sambusa was matched with student Lucy Richardson who built the restaurant a website, providing the business — which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic — with a means for selling its sambusas, gyros and cheesecake without giving a cut to an ordering or delivery platform.

“If it wasn’t for this program and this beautiful site, we would have had to shut down,” said Honey Mohammed.

Mohammed runs the restaurant with her mom, who opened the West Seattle business in 2009. Even beyond the financial help provided by the site, the project gave a much needed boost to Mohammed’s flagging morale during these difficult times.

The Youth Web Design pilot program recently completed its first six-week, virtual training program that matched 16 Garfield High School students who are Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) with 16 Black-owned businesses in the city. For participating in the project, students earned graduation credits, an industry-accredited website design certificate, and a $750 stipend.