Karlie Kloss has a super hectic schedule these days.
The supermodel, 26, is currently promoting her latest gig as the new Project Runway host (the season premiere of which aired Thursday on Bravo) and gearing up to host one of the coolest summer camps for girls through her nonprofit, Kode With Klossy.
Kloss launched Kode With Klossy back in 2015 as a way to empower and inspire young women to become involved in tech. Throughout the year, the nonprofit hosts learning experiences to help girls pursue their passion — and one of the most well-known programs is the annual Kode With Klossy Summer Camp.
The organization hosts free two-week summer coding camps across the country annually for young women ages 13 to 18, to teach the fundamentals of programming and web development. The 2019 applications are officially open — and Kloss is running around the city (literally) to spread the word.
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Kloss took to the streets of New York City to let everyone know about the opportunity, even making her own “Ask Karlie” booth to attract interested applicants. She also caught up with PEOPLE to tell us even more about the program and answer all our coding camp questions.
Find out what makes an application stick out from the rest, how she chooses applicants and whether you’ll see her in one of the Kode With Klossy sessions this summer!
PEOPLE: How does it feel launching the fifth Kode With Klossy summer camp?
Karlie Kloss: We could not be more excited for our fifth year of Kode With Klossy! When the organization started, I never imagined that it would evolve into the program it is today. Thanks to our team and the support of our partners, like WeWork and the Turing School, we’ve been able to grow and scale our impact over the past five years. I am so proud of each and every scholar in our Kode With Klossy community and can’t wait to see what this summer’s group of young women creates.
PEOPLE: Will this year’s camp be different from years past?
Karlie: For all of our 2019 camps, we’re focused on creating a learning environment that is fun, collaborative and hands-on. In addition to teaching the fundamentals of programming and web development, we’re also planning an interesting speaker series in partnership with WeWork that will help show our scholars what a career in STEAM can look like. Through this series, our scholars will have the chance to hear how entrepreneurs in their own communities are applying code to their careers.
PEOPLE: How does the approval process for applicants work?
Karlie: The Kode With Klossy team reads every application that we receive. During the review process, we look for young women who are passionate about wanting to learn computer science, and who demonstrate values that are core to Kode With Klossy like creativity, curiosity and community-mindedness.
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PEOPLE: What makes an application stand out?
Karlie: Kode With Klossy is about igniting the initial spark in young women to want to explore the world of technology, so applicants that show creativity, passion and curiosity around tech always stand out to me.
PEOPLE: Do you personally help in the process of choosing participants? Do you read through the entries?
Karlie: Yes! Along with the Kode With Klossy team, I read and review many scholar applications. While I definitely stay busy juggling my fashion and modeling work, Kode With Klossy is my passion project, so I take on as much of a hands-on role in the organization as I can.
PEOPLE: Do you ever make appearances throughout the sessions?
Karlie: As we’ve scaled Kode With Klossy’s reach across the country it’s not always possible for me to be at each and every camp, but I do my best to visit camps when I can. I love witnessing the Kode With Klossy community in action and seeing what projects scholars are working on. Their creativity and drive constantly blows me away.
PEOPLE: What’s one of your favorite success stories from camp-goers?
Karlie: Hearing about the accomplishments of our scholars always makes me feel like a proud big sister. Our scholars have gone on to do some pretty incredible things, like start coding clubs in their own communities, build applications designed to help chronically ill teens feel less alone and attend top colleges to study computer science.
What’s really special about many of these success stories is that our scholars have accomplished these things together. Even after camp is over, they support each other’s pursuits in tech in every way — from teaming up to enter hackathons to creating group chats where they stay in touch about coding and their various side projects.
I could not be more proud of the community that has grown out of Kode With Klossy and am so excited to continue expanding this network of talented women. I have no doubt you’ll be hearing more from them as they go on to accomplish amazing things in the world of tech.
Kode With Klossy camps are offered in New York; Los Angeles; St. Louis; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; Chicago; Detroit; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Dallas; Miami; Seattle; Austin, Texas; Denver; Philadelphia; and Boston.
Project Runway airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST on Bravo.