Karlie Kloss and three young women sitting around a table (© George Etheredge/The New York Times/Redux)
Karlie Kloss (second from right) and a group of Kode With Klossy scholars on March 8, 2018 (© George Etheredge/The New York Times/Redux)

Karlie Kloss, one of the best-known faces in the modeling world, was curious how apps like Instagram actually work. She took a class and learned she loved to code. Today her Kode With Klossy camp has helped train more than 1,000 girls in America.

Kloss founded the coding camp in 2015 to empower girls to become leaders in the tech industry. The model teamed up with the New York coding school where she did her first course in 2014 to offer the opportunity to girls between the ages of 13 and 18 nationwide.

“I realized that, just like art and fashion, code is about creativity,” Kloss says on her website. “Women are essential in forging digital progress and knowing how to code is the key to exploring and creating the newest frontier.”

Throughout the two-week program, the girls learn basic software engineering principles and are introduced to the most commonly used programming languages. First-time coders learn Ruby, HTML and CSS, while those returning for a second or third summer also learn Javascript and Sprint, a language used for the development of iOS applications.

Kloss has learned many of these languages. “I merely wanted to satiate my curiosity to understand simply, what ‘code’ was,” Kloss wrote in an article for Teen Vogue magazine. “I had no idea how much I would love learning this secret language, or how it would inspire my commitment to making sure all girls can learn to code and be leaders in technology.”

Kloss’ coding camp takes place annually in cities across the United States. In 2017, Kode With Klossy hosted 50 camps in 25 different cities, including Austin, Texas; San Francisco; Denver; and Boston.

Each camper is selected through an application process. Kloss funds the entire cost, making the camp free of charge.

Woman sitting in office, with city skyline in window behind her (© George Etheredge/The New York Times/Redux)
Karlie Kloss in her New York office (© George Etheredge/The New York Times/Redux)

Alumni of Kode With Klossy have gone on to pursue computer science degrees at the top U.S. universities, completed internships at companies that include Microsoft, and started their own coding classes.

Kloss is one of many celebrities to actively promote the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). American model Lyndsey Scott is also an avid coder and advocate, and is a mentor for Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that helps teenage girls learn coding.

The annual Computer Science Education Week and its corresponding event “Hour of Code” also draw tremendous support. Ambassadors for this movement include Kloss, actor Ashton Kutcher and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates.

This story was written by freelance writer Maeve Allsup.



Some coding-related jobs:

Network architects design and build data communication networks, including local area networks and intranets.

Programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly.

Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.

Web developers design and create websites.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics