Meet Our Mentors – Emily Jantz

Emily is a junior at Stanford who didn’t do any coding growing up in Alabama. At Stanford she is studying Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, as well as spending part of her time helping kids learn to code!

When did you start to code?

I didn’t start to code until my freshman year of college. Because I went to high school in Alabama, I was not at all familiar with the idea of computer programming. However, even that one intro course got me hooked, and I have continued taking more coding classes ever since.

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

Because I didn’t start coding until college, I know how frustrating it has been to try to quickly understand basic coding concepts while simultaneously trying to apply these concepts to more advanced topics. Learning to code at a young age allows you to more thoroughly develop programming skills, especially the intuition needed to quickly work through the logic. Additionally, kids who start coding young will be more prepared going into future classes and jobs.

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

There’s always an “aha” moment that occurs when a tricky piece of logic finally clicks. Seeing the expression of understanding and pride break over a kid’s face is by far the most rewarding part for me.