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You were promised coding jobs in Appalachia. Now they say it was a scam.

The promised 16-week course lasted 17 weeks. Then 18, then 19. As the lesson continued, many students ran out of money. Of the more than two dozen students who started, about ten remained by the end of October, some were playing computer games in class to pass the time, and were just waiting for the final project to finish, Ms. Laucher had suggested that Project would be something for the community, perhaps a games app that deals with the opioid epidemic. Then the project was finally announced: the draft website for a pet bed and breakfast that Ms. Laucher's mother had opened in Pennsylvania. When a trip by the Mined Minds leadership to a technology conference in Lithuania became known in November, she saw an opportunity. She had never been out of the country before, but this was one way to find a job for her and her daughter. Her husband agreed to spend $ 1

,000 on the trip.

"If I could hang out with them," she recalled, "be one of them, show them how committed I am, how much I support them, then we have it.

While Stephanie and others were in Lithuania, the rest of the class discussed whether they should hold it to the end. A news station in Pennsylvania had reported problems with the local Mined Minds program, including the fact that almost all graduates in a class were dismissed as apprentices right after hiring. The state of Pennsylvania ordered Mined Minds to cease operations because they no longer had a license to run a school.

One morning in late November, in the first class after the Lithuanian Conference, the students in Beckley came to a shocking development. Two people who went on the trip – Stephanie Frame and their teaching assistant, Mr. Moore – were kicked out of the program.

In a videoconference, Ms. Laucher told the class that Stephanie was "extremely sexual harassment, drunk, behavior that we would not approve of in Mined Minds. "

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