First Blackbelt Ceremony at Code Ninjas in Wellington


Photos by Dannielle Judd

On Saturday, September 16th, family and fellow coders gathered at Code Ninas in Wellington to celebrate Jayden Hendricks’ transition to Black Belt as a coder. Jayden, 15, began at Code Ninjas at age 11 when the drop-in center opened. This was during COVID, but Jayden had a huge appetite for learning more and having classes via Zoom calls didn’t throw him off. He worked his way up through the nine different belts to Black Belt and built his own 3D video game, which was publislhed at

Rick Englelbart, who owns three Code Ninjas locations including Wellington, explained that Jayden took advantage of the high-quality, continuous curriculum that they offer and incorporated his sense of humor into his games. In his final game he created “Christmas Clicker”, which was displayed during the ceremony, Santa suffers a coma because he ate too many cookies. As the player of the game, you have to fill in for Santa and deliver thousands of presents to the right homes.

Below, you’ll find a video of Jayden’s Black Belt ceremony, as well as pictures from the event.