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The Pivot Point

Coding for Success: How one mom turned a summer project into a lifelong mission


Nidhi Jain, a software engineer, turned her dilemma of keeping her young boys engaged during summer into a successful kids’ coding education initiative. Despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Jain’s passion for teaching coding has positively impacted thousands of students.

Nidhi Jain faced a dilemma fourteen years ago, as many parents do when school ends and summer break begins. She wanted her then two young boys to be entertained and occupied with something besides video games and TV shows. As a software engineer by profession, she thought her kids would benefit from fun kids’ coding projects. By happenstance, she came across an MIT course for Scratch, a free programming language with visual interfaces to create stories, games, and animations. “I’m a coder, let me self-learn this and then try to teach this to my kids,” Jain recalled.

What started innocently with Jain and her then 4- and 8-year-old boys learning simple coding programs turned into many neighborhood kids coming every week all summer long. At summer’s end, Jain had a newfound love for instructing but, more so, an impactful purpose in teaching kids coding language. “It is so heartening to see young students growing their imagination and creating building blocks. It gives me a clear vision that it’s making a huge difference,” Jain said.

A renewed purpose was perfectly timed as Jain was transitioning from her impressive IT career. After many years doing C++ programming and more, Jain had to leave her job. Jain’s diagnosis of the neurodegenerative disease, multiple sclerosis, paused her software engineering career aspirations. But just as one door closes, another opens.

Buoyed by the summertime Scratch learning success, Jain approached her kids’ elementary school principal offering a free trial teaching kids coding. Both the principal and Jain were shocked when 25 kids maxed out the first class. It marked the beginning of Jain’s company, WhizLearning Kids. “I was so nervous before teaching the first class that I practiced for hours in front of the mirror. I mean, here I am as a post-graduate software professional and I was anxious about teaching coding to 6- to 9-year-olds!” Jain jokingly remarked.

From its flourishing start in 2010 to the present day, WhizLearning Kids has taught approximately 4,000 students in 10 different Gwinnett County (Georgia) schools plus summer camp programs. In addition to coding, the company offers robotics and STEM after-school classes for 6- to 13-year-olds. “It’s pure joy watching the kids get so excited about learning technology, and they are having such a great time too,” Jain said.

At the end of the school year, WhizKids Learning organizes an annual showcase where parents and the community are invited to see the young people’s efforts. It was a packed auditorium at Suwanee Elementary on May 15th, where several of the approximately 150 currently enrolled kids projected their learning. The “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” were palpable as awards and certificates were given for Best Project and more. “It’s special to create a space for children to stand up and have an opportunity to present,” Jain noted. “It’s not only giving them a growth mindset but shaping their future using collaboration and adaptation skills.”

Strongly encouraging the parents, keynote speaker Dr. Sally Lehmann, Principal at Burnette Elementary, said, “Parents, dream big. Grow these bright minds as coding is a language of possibilities and unlimited imagination.”

Jain encourages her students to come back as instructors when they’re in high school. “No one understands the curriculum better than someone who has sat in the same seat as a young person excited to learn coding,” Jain explained. Jain’s two sons are still very much part of WhizKids Learning, whether it’s teaching courses, emceeing at the annual showcase event, or just giving Mom a big encouraging hug.

Admittedly, it’s not always easy to carry on with a painful disease. “I’m a fighter,” Jain continues, “Giving up is not an option.” Overcoming obstacles with positive beliefs and good intentions is Jain’s creed. “Sometimes dragging myself into a classroom is like climbing Mt. Everest, but seeing the kids’ happiness and eagerness to learn makes everything right again.”

WhizKids Learning is currently enrolling for their award-winning summer camp program. They have been awarded Best Summer Camp by Best of Gwinnett for the seventh year in a row! More information at WhizKids Learning.

*Neha Negandhi is a Mental Health Strategist, Certified Life Coach, TEDx speaker, and podcast host. Visit her website for upcoming mental well-being events and more at

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1 comment

Sonia Taneja May 25, 2024 at 5:06 am

Nidhi is a living hero every single day. Her fighter spirit is an inspiration and her positivity is so infectious, it fills up the whole room with smiles and laughter. Proud to have you as my sister, my role model


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