Meet Kayla! A young coder and our roving reporter for International Women’s Day!
During Kayla’s half term, she ‘Zoomed’ around the world meeting the women of Code Club to learn more about the programme and the #RealRoleModels who have inspired them.
From Manchester to Sydney
I loved attending Code Club, it allowed me to be logical and creative. When I moved to secondary school, I continued to volunteer to help inspire other young girls to study computing.
I was so excited to meet with Nicola, Program Manager for Code Club Australia and learn more about the importance of women in tech.
She said this interesting thing:
“We can’t underestimate the value of a woman teaching a girl coding — it’s so powerful. Just like I was told when I first started out in this industry, there are still girls being told that STEM is not for them. To have a woman work in tech and say “I love tech and this is why you should love tech” that’s the best — so good!”
Next, I caught up with Zoë Kinstone, Director of Clubs at the Raspberry Pi Foundation which means she is responsible for Code Clubs. I wanted to learn about her every day #RealRoleModels.
Zoë has had many different real role models, including her mum who encouraged her “to have a go and try new things” and “to learn and be curious”.
I really liked this, as my mum is very similar. My mum volunteers at a Code Club and she inspired me and everyone else who came along to be brave, have fun, and learn to code.
Next stop India!
My next stop was really exciting. I got to travel to India (okay, only via Zoom, but still exciting)!
I met with Vasu, Programme Coordinator for Code Club India. I got to hear all about what it’s like to be part of a Code Club in India, which is very different from my experience in the UK.
This was my favourite bit of our chat:
Kayla: What is it like being involved in Code Club and how does it inspire you?
Vasu: Code Club rekindled my love of making and creating. As a child, I wasn’t exposed to computing, but now I get to inspire other young girls, often in very rural communities, to gain access to these essential life skills.
Kayla: What access do these girls have to computers?
Vasu: Often these girls will have never touched a digital device, but Code Club has opened the door and given them access to Raspberry Pi [computers] and other digital devices to learn how to code and make games in Scratch.
Identical real role models
Finally, I got to meet Caitlyn Merry, who is a Learning Manager for the Raspberry Foundation which means she gets to create all the cool Code Club projects!
She also had some very inspiring role models which made me think about my #RealRoleModels, one who is my geography teacher, Miss Connolly, who I think is fair, kind, thoughtful, and positive.
And then something unexpected happened…
Caitlyn really showed me the importance of #RealRoleModels and teachers in our lives.
Final words from Kayla
I loved ‘Zooming’ around the world meeting the fantastic women at Code Club. The stories they shared were very different from my experiences, but it showed me that real role models have similar qualities, wherever you are in the world.
Real role models exist everywhere. They can be family, friends, educators, work colleagues, young people, or even people you only know through social media. I’m now even more determined to be one of the #RealRoleModels too.