“Mom! How do you spell PBS-kids-dot-org?” Said five-year-old me. “Here, let me do it for you,” my mother said, pulling over the keyboard to the box computer and typing the website in. Every time I asked her, I would watch every key she pressed, trying to remember the website address so I would not have to ask her again. The day my mother bought our first desktop computer, I knew this is what I was going to love to do. Computers started to become my passion and I realized how much they allowed me to do.

Energetic and curious, my thirteen-year-old self discovered a web community called Roblox. I had to create a character, and in order to move up in the Roblox community, I had to gain recognition through developing games that any Roblox member could play. This was my introduction to game development and how I learned coding language called LUA, and I developed my first Roblox game. After some time and promotion, my game eventually got featured on the homepage of the Roblox website.

That experience showed me that these skills were applicable in the real world. Eager to broaden my skills in programming, I started to search for ways I could learn more. This was a difficult process because learning to program was expensive, and we couldn’t afford to pay for classes. I eventually discovered Codecademy, a website that teaches anyone how to code various languages, and I learned Javascript, HTML/CSS, Bootstrap, and many more.

When I was fifteen-years-old, I started to spend a lot of time at Philadelphia Futures, an after school college preparation program, so I could focus on learning more about Javascript. Sitting in the computer lab coding, I was interrupted by the Philadelphia Futures program assistant, Akilah Abdul-Rahman, who told me “You know that this knowledge can definitely get you places, right?” At that moment, an immense amount of motivation developed in me, and hearing those words, it was proven to me that I could make a career out of coding. The best thing about that was the fact that I actually enjoyed coding.

The awesome thing about programming is the fact that I can do anything with it. Finally finding a way to release my creativity and eagerness to learn more, I’ve created websites, games, and even mobile games. There is no limit to all the things I could do, and I still have many things I am eager to create and many more things to learn. Even though there were a lot of obstacles on my journey, this has never stopped me. I know I am only getting stronger and more dedicated to my work and future.