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Maya Penn is a 17 year old award-winning eco-designer, artist, philanthropist, activist, entrepreneur, animated filmmaker, coder, illustrator, writer and author of You Got This! She has been featured in countless publications such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Seventeen Magazine, Cosmopolitan, The View, NPR,CNN, TIME, Essence Magazine, CBS This Morning with Gayle King, O Magazine, The Steve Harvey Show, Entrepreneur Magazine, Ebony, Black Enterprise, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, and many, many more. Maya has given three TEDTalks and her latest TEDWomen Talk has gone viral worldwide and with almost 2 million views and growing. She is known as the youngest female to do two back-to-back official TEDTalks. Maya has been chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of her Supersoul 100 influencers. Google has partnered with Maya to speak to girls about coding and computer science at their Made With Code events. Magic Johnson chose Maya to be featured in his 32 Under 32 article series.


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Saturday, February 13, 2016


Girls use coding every day whether they know it or not. Browsing OOTDs on Instagram, watching their favorite Youtubers latest vlogs,  playing video games, the list goes on. But these activities are just using the outside of technology. Girls need to start getting familiar with the inside of technology. This is why I've partnered with Google for their amazing #CodedWithLove campaign. Made with Code was started by Google because less than 1% of girls study computer science. Here's my #CodedWithLove story.
When I was 4 years old my dad showed me how to take apart a computer and put it back together again. That few hours of watching a machine that seemed so complex get dismantled down to screws and wires and panels, ultimately started my love for technology.

Later on at 8 years old I became the CEO of my own company called Maya's Ideas. Although I was running a successful business, there was just one thing always bugging me. I didn't have an official website.

So, at 10 years old I asked myself a seemingly simple but bold question: "How do I build my own website from scratch?". That question lead me to delve into the world of coding. I started taking initiative and learning all I could about HTML, a markup language that could be used to build basic websites. Soon, I opened up a good ol untitled Notepad document and started coding away. Eventually, I opened my document in my browser and I had my own personal website I had 100% part in building.

From there I started learning Python, Javascript, and many other languages used to communicate with technology. Also being an animator, I've premiered my animations at my TEDWomen Talk which now has almost 2 million views. I use coding to do certain tasks when I animate as well.

It has always been my mission to encourage other girls to be curious and delve into the world of coding, which is why I also started my own nonprofit called Maya's Ideas 4 The Planet in 2011 and this summer I will host my own girls coding workshop in Atlanta. Last year I spoke at a Girl Scouts event in Philadelphia to 3,000 girls, and a Girls Inc. event to girls from all across Atlanta about coding, and WOW, did both groups of girls have some awesome questions about coding and computer science!

With Google's #CodedWithLove campaign, the goal is for more girls to find their love for coding and computer science this Valentine’s Day. How will you share your story through #CodedWithLove?

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