Sisters Krushi and Kavya Shah have been passionate about computer programming ever since first taking coding classes, and the duo are now sharing that passion with others. In 2019, they founded 2K Coding, an organization that teaches coding to youth around the world. They initially only taught kids in their Maryland community at their local temple, but when the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to adopt virtual learning, they expanded to teach on a global level.
So far, over 300 kids worldwide have learned computer programming from Krushi and Kavya. The classes, all of which the teens teach themselves, function as an online after-school program with varying levels and class sizes. The organization offers a daily summer camp each year as well. Krushi and Kavya also use their 2K Coding platform to raise funds for local nonprofits they’re passionate about, including holding a drive to collect headphones and microphones for a local homeless shelter, as well as paying for furniture and rent for people struggling due to the pandemic.
Describe your volunteer role with 2K Coding.
Krushi: 2K Coding is an organization run by Kavya and I in Maryland. Our goal is to introduce children to the world of coding. So far, we’ve taught over 300 children worldwide about technology and have taught them about Java, Python, HTML, Pygame, and Scratch. Simultaneously, we also make generous donations and have taken time to volunteer for nonprofit organizations including Friends of Sparsh, Columbia Community Care, and Project PLASE. We’re excited to continue teaching and raising money for a good cause to help people in need, because we really want to use this organization as a way to give back to the community.
What inspired you to start this?
Krushi: This is a way for both of us to give back to the community. Both of us had always taken coding classes when we were younger, so we’re kind of going full circle and now teaching the next generation how to code. That’s what really inspired us, because we know those classes helped us find our passion — programming and using computer science and technology to make a difference.
Why is it important that kids have a resource like 2K Coding to begin learning at an early age?
Krushi: I think for children to be exposed to it at such a young age, it really makes them comfortable with the technology that’s around them and it helps. It’s always a joy to see a smile on a kid’s face when they make a project or they learn something new. I know young children especially can get really frustrated when it comes to coding, so we want to be next to them guiding them. That’s really important to us, to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help guide them and help them find their passions.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time volunteering?
Krushi: I think one of our favorite memories was when we were out on a walk in our neighborhood and we saw one of our students. They approached us and were so happy to see us. They were like, “Ms Krushi, Ms Kavya!” I think that was really exciting for us, since we have been virtual, seeing our students out in the real world and seeing that they recognize us and that we made them this happy.
Kavya: It’s always great to see how excited the kids get meeting us in person, and also the positive feedback kids have given us. I’ve had kids who were so excited to continue classes, they wanted to keep on going before the class they were already in was even over. Hearing how excited they were made me really happy.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
Kavya: The most rewarding part for me is seeing the happiness on the child’s face, or seeing how passionate they are when they create a new game or learn something new and their code works, and they’re excited to be there and to learn.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
Kavya: If you have an idea, and you feel like it’s small and you may not be able to do it on a larger scale, even just making a small difference in a few people’s lives is still good. You don’t have to expand to a very large scale.
Why do you think it’s important for others to give back?
Krushi: I think for me, it’s all about spreading kindness because you never know what someone is going through. Spreading one act of kindness can make your day and can make their day. I believe it creates a domino affect. One act of kindness can truly change the world, so I think giving back is so important.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Krushi and Kavya? Find local volunteer opportunities.