‘Hidden Figures’ movie playing out in real life in Cleveland school

CLEVELAND - It was a history-making feat.

In 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth.

And breaking the color barrier behind the scenes were three brilliant African-American mathematicians who played a major role in making that launch possible.

In a way, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan’s untold story in the new 21st Century Fox film "Hidden Figures," is still happening today.

While there are more opportunities for women and minorities, there is still a growing demand for diversity in the fields of science, math and computer technology.

"We Can Code It," a Cleveland computer coding academy inside Terminal Tower on Public Square, is striving to meet the demand.

The 90-day boot camp leads students to promising, high-paying careers.

CEO and founder Mel McGee says, “Most of our students come out and work as software developers, which to me, is the best thing to work in IT as."

Cleveland’s Breakthrough Schools, the highest performing charter network in the city, is a partner.

"They're working with our families, so our children can start to see that this is a route that's attainable," said Katie Grootegoed with Breakthrough Schools.

There are more IT jobs available in Northeast Ohio than there are people to fill them.

The academy’s goal is to fill those positions with women and minorities, two groups historically underrepresented.

Aja Whitehead of Cleveland started classes on January 2nd and is excited about her future as a software developer. At the same time she is remembering the women who helped pave the way.

Whitehead said, "I just think that with this movie being in effect, it just encourages you and anyone to take grasp of what's happening in our society and take this skill and this craft and explode your career."

“We Can Code It” also has an academy in Columbus, Ohio.