Full name: June Barasa
Lived in: Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia
Studied: Computer Science
Job: Developing the coding curriculum at Moringa School
Tell me more about your current job
I was approached by Moringa School and asked if I wanted to develop the coding curriculum to help disadvantaged kids get a headstart to allow them to join the Moringa School bootcamp classes.
I make use of experiential design theory – I use the knowledge that people learn through their experiences to help us develop a curriculum based on positive learning experiences. I try to make sure that our curriculum gives students a first positive impression. I use my computer science background to develop a curriculum that is much more up to date and practical for real life situations rather than just being designed to impart learning that is useful for exams. I consider my work to be social impact design – empowering people through formative experiences. Teaching myself to code has really given me an appreciation that you can learn anything that you are interested in.
I am currently interested in connectivism – a learning theory that is all about the value of knowledge in the internet age. Essentially, knowledge is everywhere now, the value of having the answer is decreasing because answers are everywhere. The value of questions is increasing, as this is the space for innovation and new knowledge. Ha! If YouTube awarded degrees I would definitely have one, I’m always using it to learn new things – I learned how to make soap, new recipes. You can become independent as a learner and know how to find things.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a network engineer like my dad – he works in the telecommunications industry.
What hobbies do you have?
Reading, travelling, listening to music, looking at art, exploring and discovering new things. I’m also a big fan of yoga.
Who has been an inspiration in your life?
My dad. Also I have a friend that is a software engineer and they are really passionate about educating others. My current manager is really cool and she believes in me. She taught me to push myself and she doesn’t settle for less. Her motto is restless excellence.
What is your favourite colour?
Yellow or orange
What is your favourite animal?
An elephant – part of me feels that we’re the same; they are big, beautiful and compassionate, so human.
“I taught myself to code alongside other studies and I began teaching other girls to code in my spare time.”
What’s your favourite food?
Anything with cheese in it!! And I’m lactose intolerant too!
Where is your favourite place?
My uncle’s farm in a western province of Kenya – he has beautiful land in the middle of a valley. Every day you can see both the sunrise and sunset aligned with the valley. I go there to find myself. As soon as you arrive he gives you fresh milk from the cows. It’s always so hard to leave the peace and quiet.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I loved maths and I really enjoyed physics. I was so bad at maths when I was growing up but I had a teacher who changed all that. She somehow just cleared it up and made it easier for me.
What languages do you speak?
English, swahili and french. I got to practice french when I was in Rwanda.
What alternative career might you have pursued?
I’d have loved to be a pilot or an astronaut. I find myself on YouTube watching how astronauts live.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I am really hard to anger. When I was younger I had anger management issues but now you would really have to try to anger me. I just love being at peace with people – I love learning about life, healing and meditation.
I’m obsessed with star signs – my birthday is 17 June so I’m a gemini with a sagitarius moon and cancer is my rising star. I’m not a traditional gemini, I do have some but my calmness is from the cancer sign.
I’m actually an introvert but people think I’m an extrovert. I am good at making friends but I’ve got to have my alone time to recharge.
What is your coolest achievement?
I think it’s becoming the person I am today – I put in the work and I’ve been intentional in my learning and development so it’s really nice to be able to say that I’m happy with who I am. A friend of mine helped me to understand that women in particular often give credit for their successes to the environment, the circumstances or to others, and I’m happy to say that I’ve learned to be proud and give credit to myself when I do a good thing.