This Indian American teen was recently awarded the prestigious ‘Champions of Change’ award by the White House. She was selected for setting up a non-profit organization that helps children learn how to do computer coding and raises funds for science and technology activities in different schools.
Swetha Prabakaran, a 15-year-old Indian American, was awarded the ‘Champions of Change’ prize on Tuesday at the White House.
This teenager is the founder and CEO of Everybody Code Now! – an organization that she founded with the aim of empowering the next generation of youth to become engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs.
Source: Prabakaran Murugaiah/Facebook
“When I took my first computer science class in high school, I didn’t think that one day I’d be the one teaching code to kids. I really wanted other girls to have strong mentors and exposure to tech the way I did,” she told PTI.
Born in Indianapolis, Swetha has always been passionate about science and computers. She is now a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia. Her parents immigrated to the US from Tamil Nadu in 1998 and the family currently lives in Ashburn, Virginia.
Swetha feels that girls everywhere still hesitate before entering the fields of engineering and technology. This, she feels, is because of the many stereotypes associated with women in these fields.
“Being able to see women I admired and looked up to in this space gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my love for computer science,” she said, talking about her interest in the subject and how, since childhood, she has been watching and admiring people like her mother and her freshman computer science teacher, who have been active in the field of technology.
Similarly, she wants to encourage more young women to enter programming, by teaching them and by helping to bring more science and engineering facilities to their schools.
Her organization teaches many children from different schools how to code, so they can develop an interest in science and technology.
For this, she also conducts many camps, workshops and mentorship programs for the children.
According to a release by the White House, her organization has taught hundreds of students how to code and has raised thousands of dollars for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) activities in schools.
She is among the 11 girls who were selected by the White House as the recipients of the ‘Champions of Change’ award.
Congratulations to the young entrepreneur.