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Can youths in ‘hackathon’ help struggling city help itself?

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    In this Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015 photograph, students study at Hopeworks ‘N Camden, a nonprofit organization that teaches high school students and young adults how to build websites and use software, in Camden, N.J. The group in one of the nation’s most impoverished places is planning its first hackathon to give teens and young adults in the city and professional programmers a chance to collaborate on solutions to local problems. The plan is to build new websites for some community groups and also to connect young Camden residents with area information technology professionals. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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CAMDEN, N.J. >> Can computer coding help turn this impoverished city around? One nonprofit group thinks so, and is bringing together youths and professional programmers for Camden’s first "hackathon" this weekend.

Hopeworks ‘N Camden is a youth development organization that among other things offers technology and training classes for teenagers and young adults. It’s holding the event this Saturday. It will team up the students with professionals. Some of those will come from Subaru, which plans to move its North American headquarters to the city of 77,000 across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.

Organizers say the benefit is twofold. Students can network and learn more about coding. And in the process they can work on projects that could benefit Camden, a former industrial hub that with the loss of manufacturing became among the country’s poorest and most dangerous.

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