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13-Year-Old Coder/Gamer/Former Cheerleader/Keynote Speaker On Being “Undefinable”

"So, how would you define someone like me?...You don't."

Keila Banks was a keynote speaker at OSCON 2015 in Portland. Her speech was called “Undefinable Me: The story of a 13-year-old girl from the inner city who codes.”

At the beginning of her speech, Banks presents a couple ways that society labels her. She’s black, 13-years-old, a girl, and she’s from inner city Los Angeles. “There are a lot of negative labels that come with that” she says.

Then, Banks starts talking about herself and the impressive resume she’s built. She started a blog at six and taught herself to code when she was 9. She’s an international speaker, also having spoken as a kid coder at the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE in 2013. She’s a gamer, a former cheerleader, a self-taught chef, and lots more.

So, how would you define someone like me? And someone like you too, because I’m pretty sure lots of people here have a lot of qualities or labels that don’t really go together. You don’t. And that’s why I like to call myself undefinable

What you see on the outside looking at me and what I see on the outside looking at you is not what you really are. Join me in being an undefinable you.

She concludes with a nod to Shia LaBeouf’s inspirational video, exclaiming “Just do it!”

(via Business Insider)

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