A teen from south London has scooped the Young Hero title at the National Lottery Awards for her project that runs workshops teaching disadvantaged young women skills to improve their confidence and opportunities.
Avye Couloute, 15, from Wimbledon, started coding when, at seven years old, she attended a computing club. She loved how she could use code to move things on the screen or to control electronic components, and began to actively research and learn more skills in her spare time.
When Avye noticed that most of the attendees at these digital workshops were boys, she founded Girls Into Coding, working with girls aged 10 to 14. Through a combination of workshops and talks delivered by trailblazing women and girls in the tech sector, GIC not only improves the girls’ digital-making abilities, it also develops their skills in problem-solving, teamwork and resilience, building their confidence and opening their eyes to new pathways. The activities help the girls become aware of new possibilities beyond their current horizons, opening them up to careers and further activities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, sector.
The National Lottery Awards are the annual celebration of inspirational individuals and groups who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.
More than 1,300 nominations were received in this year’s campaign and a judging panel selected Avye as the winner of the Young Hero category which celebrates under-25s doing inspirational things in their community with National Lottery funding.
“I was so shocked to have won a National Lottery Award but it’s a real honour,” Avye said.
“I love that Girls Into Coding is able to give opportunities to so many girls from diverse backgrounds and offer them the possibility of learning about a sector that is mainly dominated by boys.
“National Lottery funding has allowed us to run workshops and set up talks with many inspirational women from the STEM sector and this will inspire a new generation of women to hopefully take up coding and technology jobs or at the very least, give them the chance to learn about the opportunities available’.
Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, said: “We’re so excited to have Avye as our Young Hero winner. She is an incredibly inspirational person who at only 14, understands the true value of helping those in her community through new skills and giving them opportunities, they may not have had before.
“It’s thanks to National Lottery players, that more than £30million is raised for good causes across the country every week, making vital projects like Girls Into Coding possible.”
Winners in each category received a £5,000 cash prize for their organisation and a National Lottery Awards trophy.
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