Karlie Kloss may be best-known in the fashion world, but she’s trying to make an impact on the tech world, too. The supermodel, who took coding classes last summer and has since become an advocate for teaching young women computer programming, has launched a partnership with the Flatiron School in New York to create the Kode with Karlie scholarship for 20 girls, ages 13 to 18.
Teens interested in the two-week summer program can submit a 60-second video explaining why they would like to learn to code in the same classes that Kloss took.
At present, only 12% of computer science degrees go to women. But by 2020, U.S. universities won’t be able to fill even a third of the country’s 1.4 million computing positions with qualified graduates. The obvious solution for industry leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates (who back the nonprofit coding education site Code.org) is to teach more American children—especially girls—to code. Other advocates like Rashma Saujani and Kimberly Bryant have founded camps and programs Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code to try to close the gender gap by capturing girls’ interest at a young age.
Now, Kloss is using her popularity with young female fans to hopefully accomplish the same goal. “Code is only going to continue to play a major role in defining our future,” says Kloss in a promo video. “I think it’s crucial that young women learn to code as early as possible to ensure that we as young women have a voice and a stake in what the world looks like.”
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