As row after row of computer screens glowed at the Rosemead Public Library, the mesmerized faces of the nine through 14 year olds made it clear this speaker leading a computer coding workshop had them hooked.
Meet Korbin Deary, a 12-year-old coding expert who can barely see above the speaker’s podium.
“When kids talk to kids it’s a normal conversation; when adults are there it’s like you are being taught,” said Korbin, who has led 30 coding workshops. “Anybody can code really. Hopefully [these kids] come away with actually learning something.”
Korbin’s dad is Keno Deary, executive director of the Rosemead Youth Leadership Center. The nonprofit recently partnered with Edison International’s employee resource group ASCEND (Asian Society for Cultural Exchange Networking and Diversity) to host the coding workshop.
In addition to providing a $5,000 grant, Edison International employee volunteers helped facilitate the event that brought about 35 kids and their parents from the local San Gabriel Valley neighborhoods.
“Our mission is to empower the next generation of community leaders,” said Keno. “We really appreciate the opportunity to partner with [Edison International] for this computer science program.”
Video Credit: Larry Tsuei
Korbin taught himself HTML coding and has even created his own company, Korbin’s Kode. Part of his goal is to teach youth how to code by using Scratch, a program developed by MIT for kids.
And he’s got their attention.
“I’m trying to teach kids to actually learn [coding], pick it up and actually keep going with it and start making other projects,” he said.
Laura Gaytan brought her four children — ages 14, 12, 11 and nine — to Korbin’s recent coding workshop.
As a local, she likes to take advantage of the various workshops held at the nearby libraries and the coding event peaked her interest.
“Technology is the future,” said Gaytan. “I hope to put a lot of ideas in my kids’ brains and hopefully one of those ideas will pique an interest that they will pursue in their life.”
California Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the city of Rosemead, but before embarking on a career in politics he spent 10 years in the computer science field working for companies like IBM and UNISYS.
He knows personally how important STEM education, especially coding, is for today’s youth.
“That is the wave of the future, that’s where the jobs will be,” he said.
He added: “The success of our kids depends on the collaboration amongst all the stakeholders and I’m really glad that Edison is stepping up to the plate …. to help educate our next generation.”
Korbin may not yet know what he wants to do in 10 years, but one of his goals is already in the works: to grow Korbin’s Kode.
“I want to help youth learn to teach how to teach other kids how to code,” he said.