Celebrating Our Heroes

Coding academy looks to teach veterans how to code

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — A local non-profit is helping veterans by teaching them tech skills that are in high demand. Eleven Fifty Academy is just off of Visionary Way in Fishers.

“We made a concerted effort to reach out veterans. I think we have a great opportunity to help those who are transitioning out of the military,” Shawn Gardner said 

Gardner is the Executive Vice President of Business Development at Eleven Fifty. He’s also a veteran with 23 years of service.

Eleven Fifty Academy is a school that teaches coding skills. The 12-week boot camp is designed for students who want a career in the technology field.  Although not solely for former military members, there are a lot of them here.

The school is owned by a vet, employs vets and teaches vets like David Whitt.

“With coding, it’s like learning a new language, you start off not knowing anything and you just grow from there,” Whitt said.

Whitt is an Indiana native who joined the military in 2001.

He served in the Air Force for six years before moving back to the Hoosier state. He would go on to a degree in network security but wanted something different and found Eleven Fifty.

He used his GI Bill to help pay for the program.

“They paid for me all the way through, and they give you a stipend as well, I believe it’s staff sergeant pay.” Gardner said. “There’s a reason that veterans are the right candidates to fill this teach skills gap. They do come in with some life experience, maturity and the logic they need to be a successful coder, they come with coordination, the grit and the determination for success.”

Eleven Fifty says their average starting salary for grads is $54,000 a year with some grads earning as much as $70,000 to start.

Gardner said the companies are very open to hiring vets with a tech background.

“They know how to take orders, they know how to give orders, they know how to show up on time, and for the most part they’re drug free so those are all great attributes that companies are looking for,” Gardner added

David Whitt is now helping to teach coding at Eleven Fifty.

“It’s not an easy program, it’s called boot camp for a reason, it’s 12 weeks, it’s demanding, but the reward is phenomenal, and when you finally do get the code to work you get elated, it’s amazing,” Whitt said.

Eleven Fifty says they are always looking for students, especially veterans.


Florida woman accused of zipping her boyfriend in suitcase for hours until he died

(CNN) — Sarah Boone called 911 and said her boyfriend got trapped in a suitcase and died during a game of hide-and-seek, according to court records.

The Florida couple had been drinking Chardonnay and doing puzzles Sunday night in their Winter Park apartment, Boone told authorities, when they thought “it would be funny” to hop in a suitcase as a part of the game, according to an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Boone, 42, zipped up Jorge Torres Jr. in the blue suitcase containing a few items for donating. Two of his fingers stuck out, so she assumed he could open it, according to the affidavit.

She went upstairs to bed and thought he’d get himself out of the suitcase and join her, only to wake up Monday and find him still in it and not breathing, the affidavit says.

Boone was arrested Tuesday and faces a second-degree murder charge after investigators determined videos on her phone contradicted her story.

The phone footage shows her mocking her boyfriend as she filmed his cries for help, and telling him it was his punishment for cheating, according to the arrest affidavit.

“I can’t f**king breathe, seriously,” her boyfriend said in the phone video. “That’s on you. Oh, that’s what I feel like when you cheat on me,” she responds.

The video shows the victim pushing on the suitcase and trying to get out, the affidavit says. When police showed the video to Boone, she pushed it away halfway through and said she didn’t want to watch it, the affidavit says.

Police searched her iPhone after she signed a waiver and gave verbal and written consent. CNN has reached out to her public defender.

Boone denied intentionally leaving Torres in the suitcase, according to the affidavit.

Boone called police Monday afternoon and said she woke up hours earlier but assumed her boyfriend was on his computer in another room. When she could not find him, she suddenly realized he was still in the suitcase.

“Sarah unzipped the suitcase and found Jorge unresponsive and not breathing,” the affidavit says. “Sarah zipped Jorge in the suitcase to where he could not get out. Jorge begged Sarah repeatedly telling her he could not breathe and Sarah left him in the suitcase … and demonstrated a depraved mind without regard for Jorge’s life.”

When police arrived at the scene, they found the victim near the front door with a laceration on his lip and bruising around his eye.

Boone is being held without bail. No cause of death is listed on the arrest affidavit.