Microsoft’s commitment to building better software and technology extends beyond its own proprietary software or its mobile phone strategy. Microsoft is not only investing in the technology of today, it is investing in the minds of tomorrow. As we described in Microsoft calls to Action, CEO Satya Nadella is committed to the expansion of Microsoft’s YouthSpark program, offering a $75 million investment over the next three years. YouthSpark is a platform designed to teach young people around the world Computer Science. Partnering with local programs like CTP (Centro Tecnologico Popular), YouthSpark is able provide computer labs with access to programs such as Project Spark and Touch Develop to students.
In February, we posted an article about Wanderson Skrock, a troubled youth who has already benefited from YouthSpark and even became an advocate for the program. Today, we have the opportunity to look into the life of another youth touched by Microsoft.
Genesis is a 12-year girl living in a remote neighborhood of Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. In both her home and her school, money is sparse which creates tremendous hardships for Genesis in regards to her education. To start, this preteen’s commute to school is nothing less than treacherous as she is forced to trek through unpaved and disheveled roads and over many hills just to reach her classroom. To make matters worse, after budget cuts her school had to drop funding for its computer courses.
Despite these challenges, Genesis strives to be the best in her class and has not given up on her passion for Computer Science. Encouraged by her mother, who knows that an education will make all the difference in her life, Genesis has joined CTP, a program that provides free computer classes, to learn to write computer software. Now, Genesis aspires to be a Computer Science Professor and with the help of Microsoft, she will yet achieve this goal. Using programs like Kodu, she is learning to program and write code.
It [Kodu] showed me how to program a video game…
I will always consider it as my first love.
In the three-minute video below, Genesis proudly proclaims “I am a programmer” as she tells her story.