Akshana Dassanaike-Perera is a Pittsburgh native currently attending the North Allegheny Senior High School in Wexford, PA. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Steel City Codes, a 501(c)3 dedicated to creating educational opportunities for young students in computer science. Steel City Codes has two main goals: educating young students in computer science and reducing discrimination in STEM fields. They do this by offering completely cost-free activities in the form of summer camps, after-school programs, and more.
Akshana started Steel City Codes during his sophomore year of high school alongside Josh Zhou, the COO of the organization. In its first year, Steel City Codes was a small summer camp that taught 80 elementary and middle school students. It has since grown into a state-wide effort, as they are working alongside public schools in Pittsburgh, Erie, Johnstown, Scranton, and more to further its mission. The Steel City Codes summer camp in 2019 taught 380 students from across the Greater Pittsburgh area and offered free lunch to low-income students.
Akshana plans to study economics and computer science in college. Although he's not certain of where he is attending yet, he is certain that he will continue to lead Steel City Codes for many years to come.