Meet Our Mentors – Franklin Sperka

Frankie is from Milwaukee and fairly new to coding himself, but picked up Scratch drag-and-drop coding very quickly in order to work with the youngest Breakout Mentors students. He is high energy and fun, while still keeping students focused and challenged throughout the sessions!

When did you start to code?

I just recently started to code during my Freshman year at Stanford University. I absolutely loved my very first class in computer science and it felt like I had unlocked a whole new world of opportunities and curiosities all at once. I went on to take the next CS course the following quarter, and I spent a lot of time exploring app development and web programming this past summer. I am originally from southeastern Wisconsin, where the tech industry is not nearly as influential on our curriculum, and as a result there were very few opportunities to start learning coding throughout my early years of schooling.

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

I love being able to introduce kids to coding at an age when I wish that I had started to get some exposure to it. It is especially rewarding for me to integrate students’ interests into each of our projects and to watch them build up a passion for building projects with code. It’s amazing to see their excitement when they get a breakthrough realization, and even more so when we finish a project we worked hard on and I get to see them joyfully reflecting on their work.

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

To all the young students out there who are looking for advice when they start coding, I would say to never stop following your curiosities. In my opinion, this is the best way to cultivate a passion for coding, and it is a passion that will serve students well as they continue to learn more about computer science.