We had the good fortune of connecting with Ziggy Zendejas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ziggy, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Our middle son, J.P., has expressed an interest in coding and computer science since he was in elementary school, this was about eight years ago and we found that there weren’t a lot of options for kids at his age to learn about computer science in the area (Chula Vista). When the idea of Code Ninjas was brought to our attention, my wife and I knew it would be a worthwhile venture as we are both strong believers in the benefits of STEM learning for young kids. Code Ninjas allows us to bring a fun, educational experience to other kids here in the South Bay.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Code Ninjas Chula Vista is a unique venture, we are an after school center where kids ages 7-14 can come in and learn how to code by creating their own video games in a fun environment. We opened doors in April 2019 and despite the pandemic, we are still standing and bringing this experience to our registered families. The key to the success of any business is perseverance, not giving up. You overcome challenges by being adaptable and willing to try new approaches. Some of the lessons we have learned along the way is that nothing replaces a human connection. You don’t sell a product, you provide an experience. We want people to know that at Code Ninjas Chula Vista, their child can have his or her own space in which to explore STEM learning while having fun and not feel like they are in another school environment. We are a safe space where kids can let their creativity take them along this journey to learn how to code.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a week to show my buddy around San Diego, I would start with Balboa Park, show them the museums there and the different parks. I would also spend a day in the Gaslamp Quarter, visiting the different shops and great restaurants. Also, you cannot visit San Diego and not visit the beach, so I would take them to Coronado and Sunset Cliffs to see the sunset. Another great spot to visit is Harbor Island and visit Cabrillo Point in Point Loma. I would introduce them to the famous carne asada burrito, an In N Out hamburger and Uncle Biff’s Killer Cookies in Hillcrest. So many things to do here in San Diego!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to give my wife, Alma Zendejas, a shoutout. She is co-owner and co-center director with me here at Code Ninjas Chula Vista and without her, this venture would not even be possible. She is the backbone of our marriage and the success of this business.