Thank you to our friends at Coinone who donated to us by using the blockchain

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We recently had a great opportunity to work with Coinone, a leading cryptocurrency exchange out of  Korea, on their donation project ‘Coinone Give’.

They were kind enough to run a promo to their users where donations could be made by using the blockchain. We received support from many Korean donors and we would like to thank you all for your contributions which will help many Afghan girls receive a free education and learn how to become programmers. We had an opportunity to meet with Kevin from Coinone and talk a bit more about their program and some of the work they’re doing.

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In Conversation With: Rachel Auslander, Founder of CoderGals

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Today we’re very excited to share a recent conversation with had with Rachel Auslander, the prodigious founder of CoderGals. As a high school junior, Rachel started a program not unlike ours, but here in the United States. She provides free coding courses to elementary school girls to get them excited about STEM from an early age. The program is now available in Read on to learn more about all that CoderGals has done for America’s next generation of female coders, and how the organization was able to expand rapidly!

Your program has had such widespread adoption across the country. How were you able to achieve that?

CoderGals was able to scale across the country through the power of high school girls and social media. Our program is free to implement: we use free online resources, computers available in schools, libraries, and community centers, and mentors receive community service hours.  

How have you been able to accomplish so much at such a young age?

Lots of persistence! Coding and starting an organization both require lots of trial and error and a willingness to keep learning when you don’t know how to do something. I’ve learned over time to believe in myself and my ideas — and other people have believed in me too.

What motivated you to start your program?

When I first learned how to code, I did not have any female STEM role models to look up to or a community of other girls to code with. I lost in interest in coding, but regained interest a few years later when I realized the impact that I could make with code. However, I still didn’t have a community of girls to code with or female STEM role models to look up to, and didn’t want other girls to have the same problems when they learned how to code for the first time. I founded CoderGals to show elementary school girls how coding connects to their interests and provide them with relatable female STEM role models – high school girls! IMG_8547

Which coding language is your favorite and why?

I like Swift because I enjoy making iOS apps to solve problems. In CoderGals workshops, my favorite language to teach is MIT Scratch because it is easy to learn and even beginners can create interesting projects with it!

Why do you think it’s so important, especially for young women, to learn to code?

It’s important for young women to learn how to code because we can make innovations to create change – we have big ideas and unique perspectives that we need to put into action. Coding is a super impactful tool that can help solve global problems. The world needs our ideas, now more than ever, to make a difference!

What advice do you have for our students as they begin to learn to code and start their own businesses?

 

Don’t let people tell you that you can’t do something because you are a girl or because you’re too young. Go for it! Seek advice from people who are more experienced than you, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and keep on learning

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California Dreaming with the AMENA Center

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We are thrilled today to announce our strategic partnership with the AMENA (Asia, Middle East, and North Africa) Center for Entrepreneurship and Development Center at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley.

Through this partnership, we’ll be able to provide so many new resources to our students from job opportunities to mentoring.

This partnership was a natural fit for us as the AMENA Center’s mission is to narrow the economic development, gender, entrepreneurship, and innovation gaps in the AMENA region through programs and initiatives that advance human capital development, build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, reverse the effects of the brain-drain, and produce academically rigorous policy oriented research.

Together, we’re sure we’ll be able to make a difference in how the Middle East educates the next generation of women! Some of the exciting programs at AMENA include their new MENA Group, MAP, and PARS. Stay tuned as we continue to work together and change some lives.

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Moving On Up in Herat

 

This week, we were excited to begin construction on our second floor at Code to Inspire.

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We can’t believe how far we’ve come, and can’t wait to accommodate more students, more classes, and more ideas.

Speaking of which, our next class of students took their entrance exams today:

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We’re so pleased to be able to expand each and every year, and provide a free coding education to even more girls and young women in Afghanistan. The more women we empower, the better Afghanistan will become.

In fact, the Blossom Hill Foundation, which aims to “invest in peace through innovation” agrees with us, and they’ve selected Fereshteh as a 2017 fellow! If you’d like to support as well you can do so here.

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In conversation with Horeya Kabiri: An Artist and Child at Heart

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Horeya, hard at work at CTI.

Today, we interview one of our graphic design students, Horeya. She is currently studying graphic design at Herat University – read on to learn more about her and how Code to Inspire has affected her life.

1-Tell us about yourself.

I am Horeya Kabiri, and I’m 21 years old. I graduated from high school in 2014, and I now study graphic design at Herat University in the Fine Arts department.

2-How did you find out about Code to Inspire? Tell us about your journey to CTI, how you compare yourself now from to the very first day you joined CTI?

I found out about Code to Inspire on social media, and it changed my life. I’ve always looked for a place that would support my growth as an artist and where I could work to improve my professional growth, and Code to Inspire has been that place for me ever since I was accepted after passing the entrance exam.

3-What have your learned so far in your Graphic Design class? What do you like about it the most?

Graphic Design is an astonishing, and complex form of art. That’s why it was important that we learned all of its rules, starting with the basics. I love all parts of it, but digital graphics and animation are my favorite.

4-Tell us about one of the digital paintings you have done so far and like the most? Is there a message behind it?

I always say that Graphic is my language, and I use it as a tool for communication just as I do with words. I usually use a surreal style when I create my designs. For example, this digital painting represents the mothers of Afghanistan, and how they are in our hearts while also coping with their own problems.

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5-How do you think graphics and design can empower girls and women?

I see a bright future for female graphic artists. No one can stop them if they believe in themselves, and it can help them enter the global economy.

6-What is your message to people around the world as a girl in Afghanistan?

Afghan girls are not just competent, but capable and ambitious. All we need is peace, and we’ll change the future.

7-Tell us the fun fact about yourself?

My friends always call me blithe! One fun fact though is that whenever I meet children, I basically turn into a child myself and get on their nerves.

Want to ensure Horeya and her classmates can continue their education? Keep on donating!

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