Meet Our Mentors – Anna Verwillow

Anna is a junior at Stanford and grew up right here in Palo Alto. She took a lot of Computer Science at Castilleja High School before college and is now focusing her education on biocomputation. She excels at breaking down concepts for some of our more advanced students!

Why is it important for kids to start coding when young?

Coding in the modern age has become a basic requirement for many jobs and career paths because computation holds so much power as a tool. Fostering fluency in programming and normalcy in using code to solve problems—no matter what a child is interested in—is a wonderful gift to their future.

What do you find rewarding about teaching kids how to code?

I love working with the students and getting to know them, learning what excites them and scares them, what challenges them and what they’re comfortable with, and what they want to learn or work on in coding and then figuring out how to get them there. I am thankful for the one-on-one environment because it creates the opportunity to build stronger individual friendships.

What advice do you have for kids learning how to code?

Have fun with it! Programming is a skill that takes practice, but hopefully we can make the practice fun, creative, and challenging while also building the underlying skills such that you can look back and see how far you’ve come while enjoying your time spent.