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FARAH + DOONYAH ALUCOZAI WORDS BY KATIE LEE + PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN POWELL “THE MOST REWARDING FEELING IS seeing a student’s “lightbulb moment” and the look on his or her face after writing a code,” says FARAH ALUCOZAI, co-founder of CoderDojo Anvil in Lafayette, Indiana. Alucozai and her younger sister, DOONYAH, started the nonprofit as a chapter of CoderDojo, a volunteer-led and community-based international movement that provides free lessons in coding, app development, game design, and mentorship to students aged 7 to 17. It all started when Doonyah, a junior high student, taught herself how to code and completed a brief coding course in Lafayette. After finding no other options for continued learning, she did not give up on her goal of mastering code. Instead, she partnered with Farah to create a sustainable and collaborative learning environment for all young students who are interested in different aspects of computer science. “As practicing Muslims, helping the community is part of our religion,” says Farah. This sense of community and helpfulness is also shared by her students. Genuine philanthropic creativeness is found in every participant’s project. The students are always thinking of innovative ways of using their new coding skills to benefit others. Many of them are also eager to become mentors in the future. “It is very rewarding to know that students will become mentors of their own, and there will be a ripple effect of impacting other communities,” says Farah. While the sisters still enjoy reading, playing sports, and watching movies in their free time, CoderDojo Anvil is always on their minds. Doonyah and Farah are constantly thinking of new and exciting ways to help connect their young community to coding. In the future, the organization hopes to expand their coding curriculum to help even more students while still keeping their strong sense of community. Providing laptops to those who cannot afford their own, expanding the student’s role in the organization, and many more ideas, all free of charge, are in the works. As Farah puts it, “CoderDojo will always be there and will always be free.” coderdojoanvil.com AND... FARAH When no one’s watching I….love to try on different accents! What people don’t understand about me is...they see my headscarf and judge me with misconceptions that I’m oppressed, brainwashed, or a whole laundry list of other labels. I’m a proud, independent, muslim-American. Indianapolis needs...for its companies (especially tech ones) to invest more in local talent across the state into organizations like ours, to produce the next generation of talent. In five years, I’ll be…continuing to be involved in organizations that bring about positive and significant impact in the community and world. My favorite “words to live by” are... “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” —Albert Schweitzer

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PATTERN ISSUE NO. 9

DOONYAH When no one’s watching I...take an extra helping of dessert. What people don’t understand about me is...I’m not defined by my age. It is not my age that determines my altitude but my aptitude and attitude. Indianapolis needs… more support for young entrepreneurs and organizations like CoderDojo Anvil.

In five years, I’ll be...making CoderDojo Anvil a fully-resourced and sustainable organization. My favorite “words to live by” are...“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” — Elon Musk

Profile for PATTERN Magazine

PATTERN Magazine Issue 9 Spring 2016  

To order a hard copy of our magazine visit https://squareup.com/store/patternindy! Please subscribe to our publication! https://checkout.sub...

PATTERN Magazine Issue 9 Spring 2016  

To order a hard copy of our magazine visit https://squareup.com/store/patternindy! Please subscribe to our publication! https://checkout.sub...