Thea McKenna made an impression on her tryout video for the Kode with Karlie Scholarship, donning a programming shirt and getting her cats’ endorsement as well. We asked her some questions and found out why her brother is so important to her, and where she wants to go next.


Tell us who you are in one sentence.
I’m a math and science enthusiast who loves cats and swimming competitively.

What inspired you to learn to code?
My older brother is a computer science major at Brown, and I have watched him fall so in love with it. We are so similar and enjoy mostly the same activities and subjects that I started to ask him questions and realized that it might not only be for him; I would really love it too.

Why is it so important for women your age to learn to code?
Girls aren’t always encouraged to pursue careers in the STEM field, even if it is their passion. I think people, no matter what gender, should be able to follow their passion to the career of their choosing. By learning to code at a young age, girls can overcome the stereotypes and discouragement thrown at them from the beginning.

Who is your biggest role model?
My brother! He follows his heart and is never quick to judge based on appearance. He inspires me to participate in the STEM area that I am so interested in, but understands that I am my own person and doesn’t push me to be exactly like him.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would go to Europe and travel to everything there, because I want to experience everything and can’t decide on any one place!

Start Learning to Code for Free