Beyond being a world-famous supermodel and member of Taylor Swift’s squad, Karlie Kloss is also on a mission to teach girls how to code. In 2014, she founded a camp for coding, Kode with Klossy, which is now teaming up with Ford to inspire the next generation of female engineers and inventors.
An estimated 74 percent of girls express an interest in science, technology, engineering and math courses, but less than one percent go on to major in computer science. Last year, Ford launched the Ford STEAM Experience, which aims to reverse those statistics by inspiring more young women to embark on tech and science careers.
Now, the company is teaming up with Kode with Klossy, which offers free two-week programs that teach 13- to 18-year-old girls to build apps with code. The partnership with Ford will expand Kode with Klossy’s offerings, to include 15 summer camps in 10 cities, offering 300 total scholarships.
“Karlie’s celebrity status, and the fact that she wears two different hats as a supermodel and avid coder, is something that causes people to pause,” said Tracy Magee, primary brand experiential manager at Ford. “We want people to say, ‘If she can code, I can code.’ Her celebrity drives interest, and helps bring home the idea that this is something young girls can be interested in.”
Ford has so far dedicated $63 million to STEAM educational programs. Ford STEAM initiatives have included partnerships with organizations like Girls Who Code, high school mentorship programs and engineering scholarships for girls, and teaching girls about building cars through fast track races with the Girl Scouts.