Ruth Agbaji taught herself to code in Nigeria in the early 1990’s. She wanted an opportunity to escape the violence in her country and coding provided her with this chance. Learning code earned her a scholarship to Tufts University, where she received her Master’s degree in Computer Science, and then went on to have a successful career as a Software Engineer working at companies such as Microsoft, Cablevision and Kronos.
As her family started to grow, Ruth wanted to find a role that was more flexible when it came to work and life balance. It was her interest in the field, mentorship, and wanting to pay it forward that led to the creation of the Code Wiz franchise brand, a top-rated online coding and robotics school for kids ages 7 – 17. “I would be able to be my own boss, but at the same time, be able to pay it forward, and give the gift that somebody had given me.”
Ruth works to educate parents and showcase the power of coding, and what coding can do for their children. It is especially meaningful for Ruth to help kids in similar situations as her own upbringing. She likes to give back to kids who might not be able to afford the program but want to pursue it, showing them that she believes in them and their abilities. Having support, according to Ruth, is a critical step in being able to find opportunity.
Ruth has found that the ability to reach out and ask for help from others was a huge part of her own success. She says that being around mentors, being around like-minded peers that were at about the same stage in business, has really helped her on her journey. Early on, she had a mentor that helped her to code, and she always recognized the importance of asking for help and being that person that kids can rely on for a helping hand or just a friendly face.
The coding classes are designed to give kids the programming knowledge, skills, and confidence to thrive in a digital world. Ruth believes every child has a form of inner genius that’s just waiting to be unlocked.
Ruth Agbaji is a local business owner, and she is Open for Opportunity.