Meet NYC’s teenage tech tycoons

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RED HOOK, Brooklyn – It’s no longer necessary to be an adult to be a CEO.

There are dynamic teens across New York City creating their own businesses, from Red Hook, Brooklyn, to Jamaica, Queens, and your kids can do it, too.

Olivia Gittens from Cyprus Hills is one such teenage tech tycoon. The 13-year-old codes and creates video games, a technological creativity that her mom said is inspiring.

She’s one of 10 students in a new program called Art Times Code at Pioneer Works in Red Hook. It’s supported by Google’s Made With Code program.

Participants are between 13 and 17 years old and they’re learning how to be game designers.

Google hopes to expand the program – and expand more young minds.

“It’s all about empowerment. That is what we are trying to do here, especially with young girls,” Hilary Neve, head of brand communications and initiatives at Google, said. “They are like sponges. They can do and learn anything.”

And the earlier they learn the better, David Sheinkopf, of Pioneer Works said. He likened it to learning a new language.

Microsoft has a similar vision. It’s offering a free summer camp to give kids the knowledge, tools and support to make their business ideas a reality.

And in Queens, a group of kids from the YMCA in Jamaica are learning to be just as pioneering. They received 10 new sewing machines thanks to Amazon.com and PIX11 News.

Their creations will be displayed online in conjunction with the YMCA soon, with all proceeds going to support their program.

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