Meet Bold Idea Mentor Jared


Jared Hensley is a full-stack Javascript developer at Connexions Loyalty. Those skills came in handy this fall when he volunteered as a mentor in Bold Idea’s Creative Computing program. Many of the older elementary elementary students he worked with were experienced coders and took up the challenge of creating mobile apps using Javascript.

Though it wasn’t just his coding skills that made an impact on students. According to Stella Lin, site coordinator at our Bottle Rocket program site: ”Even more important than Jared's Javascript skills is his patience and calm demeanor to bring out the best in the kids with his questions and guidance.”

Meet Jared…

What is something many people don't know about you?
I am a big science nerd and really enjoy studying biology/biochemistry in my free time. I hope to make a move from web programming to something biomedical at some point in the future.

How did you become interested in technology and programming?
In middle school I really enjoyed making websites using online platforms such as Geocities, Tripod etc. (this was back in the late 90s!). In high school I took a turbo pascal class just because and ended up creating a book report for my 10th grade English class that was handed in via a 3.5 floppy disk!

What did you study in college?
I studied molecular biology and business. I did not go to school for computer science, although my science curriculum had overlap with a traditional CS degree path (calculus, physics etc.)

What are you working on now?
I am currently working as a Javascript developer and plan to transition away from the wild west of web development at some point in the future. As previously mentioned, the biotech sector intrigues me greatly.

What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your most memorable moment while mentoring?
I had such a blast mentoring the creative computing group @ Bottle Rocket. ALL of the kids were amazing and were extremely well behaved. I thoroughly enjoyed my Saturday mornings and would come away smiling after getting to hang with them for a short while. I realized that kids are a lot smarter than I remembered :)

Is there anything that you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
It's not magic! Most of us are just guessing.

What is it about Bold Idea's mission that really connects with you?
Exposing children to technology is crucial for their development. The world will continue to evolve and become more integrated with technology. The advancements from the 90s to 2000s to present day is nothing short of mind-blowing in my opinion. Another 20 to 30 years of development will likely surprise even the kids of today.