Meet Our Mentors – Jessica Allen

Jessica Allen

Jessica is a senior at UC Berkeley with a passion for teaching. She is studying Mathematics and Computer Science, participating in the Cal Teach credential program, and will be a full-time teacher after graduating through Teach for America. Since joining Breakout Mentors at the start of the school year, Jessica has been working with two girls learning to code!

When did you start programming?

I started looking at simple programming in 5th grade but really learned to code in high school.

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

I think that programming when young is valuable because it teaches kids a level of logic that is valuable in problem solving in general. Furthermore, it is one skill that when nurtured as students grows becomes valuable in academia or career.

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

I love teaching in general and being able to take something that confuses a child and help them to understand it. In addition, I enjoy computer science in particular.

What is your favorite game or project you have created with a student?

My favorite game to create with students is tic-tac-toe because it incorporates simple graphics but interesting logic rules.

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

I suggest that students use programming to do things they are interested in. They should make programs that they find cool!