Karlie Kloss Wants YOU To Code, Too

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.
Karlie Kloss isn't just a supermodel. She's also driven and passionate about the causes she cares about. And one of those, you may be surprised to learn, is the state of the tech industry. Kloss wants to see more women coding and more women innovating, and she's helping to make that a reality.

It started with Kode With Klossy, a summer program she launched last year for 20 young women in New York City. This year, she expanded that program to 80 women and three cities. But there was one problem: Kode With Klossy is only for high school age women, 13 to 18, and as Kloss and her team went through applications for the program, they realized that there was a lot of interest from women college age or older.

So today, Kloss is introducing the Kode With Klossy Career scholarship. Valued at $12,000, this scholarship covers a nine-month coding program through New York's Flatiron School’s Learn.co online campus. At the end of the self-taught program, participants will have the skills necessary for an entry level coding position.

"The main goal is to strengthen the pipeline for women in tech," Kloss told Refinery29 in a phone interview. "Just this past year, there were over 600,000 high paying computing jobs that were unfilled. The ambition with the Kode With Klossy Career scholarship is to help reach women who are dedicated to putting their coding skills to use professionally to close the job gap now."

Besides the length of the program and that it's self-taught, the biggest difference between the career scholarship and Kode With Klossy program is that at the completion of the program, women will have the chance to apprentice with a company. Partners include Vice, Instagram, WeWork, and Condé Nast. Applications are available today, and one woman each month for the next 12 months will be given a scholarship for the program.

To get the scholarship, you don't need coding or math skills already. Kloss thinks that curiosity and creativity are two important attributes that help coders succeed. And then you'll need to be passionate — and focused — in order to complete the program on your own (it's designed to be done outside of your day job or current college work load).

And what about Kloss' own coding abilities? She says they're coming along "slow and steady."

"I’ve been learning [Ruby] part time for the past two years, and by all means I’m very much still a beginner," Kloss said. "My technical skills are slowly and steadily getting stronger every day, but I don’t think I’d get a job just yet. I’ll stick to my day job!"

If you'd like to jump-start your career, or take it in a new direction, you can apply for the Kode With Klossy Career scholarship here.
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