Alumni Profile - Tony Diepenbrock IV '13

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A Sigma Is Leading The Coding for Kids Charge

When Tony Diepenbrock IV '13 pledged Zeta Psi in 2009, he was excited to have found new brothers who came from a wide array of cultures from around the world.

“I already knew two people from my high school back in California who were in Zeta Psi,” Tony said. “But where I grew up, I [hadn’t] been exposed to people from different countries and international locations, so it was important for me to be a part of this fraternity where over half the fraternity [was] from a foreign country.” 

Tony feels that those four years also gave him something else truly special: lifelong friends from all around the world: a brotherhood spanning the globe.  “It was so important for me to meet new people from different countries because I got to know different walks of life,” he explained.

He was even able to bring his love of meeting new people into his career.

“I was an engineer right out of school, and I worked for a software company, making my way to startups,” Tony said. “I even went to Europe for a time to visit my brothers, as well as privately tutored kids how to code.”

Computer programming and coding and meeting people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, has become the passion that fuels Block School, the company that Tony founded and serves as CEO today.

“When I worked as a private tutor for programming and coding, one thing led to another and soon I was teaching half of one school called Persidio Knolls in San Francisco,” Tony said. “I then moved my tutoring online, and before I knew it, I was teaching kids from ten different countries.”

Some of those countries include New Zealand, Canada, Korea, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, England and, of course, the United States.

“I really do feel I am a lifelong teacher. I love working with kids, so it’s a privilege to create a career out of it,” Tony said. “Coding can really shape these kids’ careers and life and maybe even alleviate debt from college loans. The whole long-term trajectory will be radically different, which is a pretty awesome realization.”

Tony recognizes and is thankful that the fraternity gave him this special gift of valuing the connections and stories of people from the world’s many diverse cultures.

“I have gained such an appreciation for people from all around the world,” he said. “At the fraternity, us brothers would have debates about America and other cultures— things that make you realize the world is a great deal bigger than the country you live in.”

Now, Tony is proud to be able to share the gift of coding with such a vast network of students.

“It’s crazy to think it all started with private tutoring and me driving to students’ homes,” he said. “Now, it’s this whole online school where I can reach kids from New Zealand via videoshoot.”

Tony still keeps in touch with his fellow brothers, visiting them as he travels the world, and frequently joins local brothers for dinner in the San Francisco area.

“If any of my brothers want to learn the code movement or are interested in learning about it, they should definitely give me a ring,” Tony said.  Block School can also be found at