Michelle Doan stumbled on the Kode for Karlie Scholarship by a happy accident. While taking a break from studying for six AP exams, she discovered the competition on Twitter and felt compelled to apply. As a self-professed aspiring Renaissance woman, Michelle has big ambitions, and that came through in her memorable video. We asked her a few questions and learned about everything from traveling to random locations to why she looks up to Liz Bohannon.
What inspired you to learn to code?
I’ve always loved the idea of creating something completely original, something that didn’t exist before I made it, and a while back I realized that I could make that happen using code.
Who is your biggest role model?
I look up to so many different people, but my biggest role model is Liz Bohannon, founder of Sseko Designs. She was working a desk job right after college, and she decided that she wasn’t really into it so she quit and moved to Uganda. One of her main priorities was learning new ways to increase educational opportunities for women, and while she was there someone told her that if she really wanted to help these women, she would find a way to give them jobs. After some struggling she founded Sseko Designs, and promised three young women that if they made sandals with her for the next few months she would send them to university. She's kept that promise 60 times for 60 women. Liz Bohannon is my role model because she is the epitome of awesome. She’s accomplished so much for herself and for other people by not being afraid to take risks and persevering.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’m interested in traveling everywhere, so I used a random location generator and got Latitude: -22.55504, Longitude: 18.30094, Distortion: 1.17 which is somewhere in Namibia. Watch out Latitude: -22.55504, Longitude: 18.30094, Distortion: 1.17. I’m coming for you.
Why is it so important for women your age to learn to code?
Technology is integrated into almost every aspect of our lives. Every few years it revolutionizes the way we communicate, the way we entertain ourselves, and even the way we eat. Women need to be more involved in the revolution, and coding gives you the power do so.
What is your ultimate life goal?
I feel very passionately about so many things like civil and human rights issue and increasing educational opportunities for women across the globe. I plan on using coding as a tool to further these interest, and my goal is to pursue my passions for the rest of my life.