Ming Horn, a 16-year-old high school student in California, has founded KhodeUp, a four-week web design and programming course for children in impoverished countries.
She developed the idea last November during a visit to an orphanage in Cambodia where she met a young woman who wanted to study computer science in the U.S., but had no experience.
“She really wanted to come to the U.S. to study computer science but had never had any experience with programming, so she ended up switching her intended major to business while applying,” Horn said.
In May, Horn used the crowdfunding website Indiegogo to raise more than $20,000. That funded her first course in Phnom Penh at the Future Light Orphanage of Worldmate (FLOW).
“I give each team a dossier containing client and market information and they have to do further research and make design decisions based on what the client wants and who their market is,” she said about the last two weeks of the course. “The businesses are modeled after actual businesses that could be their clients in the future.”
Horn was adopted from China. Her brother was adopted from Cambodia. “I’ve always been able to imagine what my life would have been like had I not been adopted,” she said. “When I realized that I could have never had an opportunity to learn programming or tech, which is so much a huge part of my life and my passion, I wanted to give the kids here that opportunity.”