After spending my first year of college isolated due to remote learning and a global pandemic, I began searching for a way to connect with fellow women in STEM over the summer. During my search, I discovered Kode with Klossy. Founded by supermodel Karlie Kloss, Kode with Klossy is a free, two-week boot camp that introduces young women, ages 13-18, to fundamental computer science concepts. Their program includes camps to learn about data science, web development and mobile app development. As a student in STEM, this program sounded too good to be true. Learning to code while being in a supportive, encouraging and female-dominated environment was unlike any setting I had experienced during my coding courses at college, and I wanted to be a part of it. I quickly became occupied with learning more about the camp, watching camp scholars’ vlogs and learning how to become a scholar in the program.
The Kode with Klossy application to become a scholar consists of answering three short-response questions and general questions about your eligibility and access to camp materials, such as having a laptop. After filling out my application, I eagerly checked my email inbox every day hoping to see that “Congratulations” subject line. Not too long after stressing over final exams and finishing my first year of college, I received my acceptance email to become a web development scholar. Despite the camps transitioning to online meetings due to the pandemic, I was still very excited to learn new coding languages and become inspired by fellow women in STEM.
The second week of camp consisted of four to five scholars coming together to build the final camp project: a real, functioning website. My team decided to build a website to help spread information regarding climate change and include resources for people of all ages to understand. Having only learned about climate change through my high school biology class, I had the opportunity to learn more about an important topic and help spread information to others through my final project. Although I was slightly intimidated to address such a big topic, my group mates and instructors helped me research and prioritize my coding work. At the end of week two, each group was able to present their website and design process. When it was my group’s turn to present, we turned on our matching virtual backgrounds and introduced our final accomplishment.
Outside of learning new material and coding the final project, the camp instructors hosted brain breaks and social activities. My favorite activity was participating in the morning discussions and learning more about my fellow scholars, who came from many different backgrounds. The Kode with Klossy team also allowed scholars to join speaker sessions once a week to hear from female leaders in the tech industry. Being in a 300-person Zoom meeting alongside leaders such as Karlie Kloss and Megan Smith was a highlight from my camp experience.
Becoming a Kode with Klossy scholar was one of the best decisions I’ve made and the knowledge I gained from my camp has inspired me to continue my passion for tech and coding. Without participating in such an inspiring and comfortable learning atmosphere, I would still be doubting if there was room for me in the tech industry. Every experience I had through Kode with Klossy was positive and I highly recommend any young women interested in STEM (or who want to learn a new skill) to apply. The future lies in tech and having known the scholars from my camp, I know it will be filled with plenty of amazing female coders.