MBG Feature: Made By Girls Scholar Kaylee Thumann

By Michael Rosa

Digital Media Academy’s Made By Girls program goes beyond just teaching tech skills; it’s a community built to empower girls, giving them a safe learning environment to express their ideas and reach their full tech potential.

Our Made By Girls Scholarship contest wrapped up in April, when our five amazing recipients were finally announced. We can’t wait to tell you about our final Made By Girls Scholar. Last week, we introduced you to Enobong Anako.

Last up: Kaylee Thumann of Sherman Oaks, California!

Made By Girls Scholar Kaylee Thumann

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A medal-winning archer, Kaylee’s ready to take aim at a new bullseye: our Java programming course!

At just 16, Kaylee is already a five-year veteran of competitive sailing. She’s done field work in Belize, studying dolphins and tracking jaguar in the rain forest. She’s also a state-tournament champion in archery. And a mixed-media artist. And an orchestra violinist.

Oh, and she’ll be adding “programmer” to that list this summer.

Kaylee is passionate about how technology – and especially programming – can be used for personal and unique expression. She’s equally passionate about girls coming together to help other girls.

“Being part of a group that can inspire each other to be better is something that I so want to be part of this summer,” says Kaylee. We think she’ll fit right in with our Made By Girls Program.

On a core level, Kaylee finds Made By Girls so important because she’s eager to learn more advanced programming skills not offered at her school.

But Kaylee’s other reason to join our program is just as important to her. “I will get to know and work with other girls who have this same drive and passion for technology and what can be done with technology,” she says.

Kaylee wants to change the scope of opportunities available for women in the world, “and by doing this better ourselves and the world around us,” she says. Programming is how she’s going to make that change.

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Kaylee (right) takes a snorkel break with friends while in Belize. She was there to do field work studying a specific dolphin pod and tracking jaguar in the rain forest!

Kaylee has always been interested and curious about programming, but she feels personally drawn to it for a reason her schoolmates might never guess. “I’ve had language-processing difficulties since the time I could first talk,” she says.

“I’ve always had a million ideas that I wanted to tell people, but I could never actually tell those stories in the way I wanted or in a way that made sense to anyone else,” Kaylee says.

“Many peers don’t know I even have this difficulty. I’ve fought and worked hard to place into every honors-level English course offered and I continue to read avidly to improve my vocabulary and grammar,” says Kaylee.

Kaylee has already achieved so much before she even discovered programming; now she’s ready to add some digital literacy to her honors-level vocabulary.

“Programming is like learning a new language, a language that I can understand and I can’t get enough of. It’s a language that speaks to me and one that I know can speak for me, as well,” she says.

I’m a girl who is hungry to learn, eager to share what I learn with others and willing to do what it takes to succeed.
– Kaylee Thumann, Made By Girls Scholar

It’s this passion and work ethic that drives Kaylee’s success. “I’m a girl who is hungry to learn, eager to share what I learn with others and willing to do what it takes to succeed,” she says.

“And though I am very proud of how much I’ve accomplished, with programming it’s different,” she says. “I like how once I create a new line of correct code, it’s like something clicks in my mind and I feel very empowered.”

Join Kaylee and DMA’s Made By Girls!

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For the past five summers, Kaylee’s been involved in competitive sailing, but this summer she’ll be sailing through our Made By Girls Java programming course instead!

Made by Girls aims to make an impact on the global community by helping girls realize their potential, and encouraging them to express their creativity and personality every step of the way.

Made By Girls is dedicated to empowering girls through technology, and providing a safe learning environment designed to increase confidence in coding and computer science. Classes are led by female mentors dedicated to serving as role models and building a supportive community for girls learning STEM.

Digital Media Academy also offers co-ed courses at our other locations in subjects like graphic design, app development and more. We hope to see you this summer!