On a late winter afternoon, the sun is going down quickly on a working-class neighborhood south of San Francisco. School is out, and it’s getting chilly. But instead of cozying up to the TV, dozens of students are clustered around computers at a clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. With furrowed brows, they’re fiddling with elementary code, editing video, and adjusting the sound on some R&B tracks.

It would be easy to simply assume that after-school programs such as these...


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