Instructor Portrait:
Yasmin, Chief Project Manager, Education

Yasmin, an instructor with Kids Code Jeunesse, is passionate about teaching and inspiring kids to learn how to code.

Bry LeBlanc
15 October 2018

Yasmin has an amazing super power: when anything goes wrong, she finds the silver lining. She needs to do this often, because the missions she faces are perilous!

For example, one day a friend called Yasmin. The friend’s son was panicking because he’d learned that his hero, the person who created Minecraft (a critically acclaimed video game about placing blocks and going on adventures) started creating video games at age 10. The son was also 10 years old, and had never made any games. He said that his world was collapsing, and that he must learn programming - that his future depended on it. Super Yasmin took the reins and convinced him and his mom to register for a Kids Code Jeunesse video game programming workshop.

"At the end of the workshop, I asked him if he was is proud of what you made.
He said, 'Yes, I am proud.'
Then I asked, 'Do you think the creator of Minecraft made projects like that?'
'I'm not sure,' he replied.
'Do you think his first program was like that?'
He thought about it and said, 'Maybe.'
I knew then that it was a victory! His mother has since told me that he continues to code at home, and that he loves it."

This anecdote illustrates what Yasmin likes about teaching: the reciprocal sharing with the student. Indeed, in a previous life, Yasmin was an engineer for CAE and worked on a navigation system. But she has always been passionate about teaching.

"I've always wanted to give classes. I've been tutoring since I was a teenager."

So when Yasmin learned that Kids Code Jeunesse was looking for volunteers, she was on board immediately!

"Going to classes was really fun. After that, in 2014, I had a career change opportunity and KCJ was recruiting, so I became a full time senior instructor."

A project she particularly liked?

"I really like cultural enhancement projects, which combine technology with something less common. That's what we do for Montreal Joue or Science Literacy Week - we take ideas from books and use them to try to create a game or an animation using Scratch. We read the book to translate it with code. It's a way of putting animation and action into the story, and it's really interesting."

If she were a fictional character, she would be?

Amelia Peabody, the fictional hero of a series of historical mystery novels.

"Because she is an adventurer from the 19th century who did things that women in those days did not do, like becoming an Egyptologist. She is an educated, intelligent woman who had her opinion."

Just like Yasmin!