16 year old Arushi Agarwal, founder of Unknown16 is providing free virtual education to children in Bihar from New Jersey

arushi agarwal

Charity begins at home and Aarushi decided to go the extra mile at a mere age of 16. Arushi Agarwal has been helping kids get an education, and that too free of cost.

Born in Hisar, Arushi is currently residing in New Jersey in Class XI. In the year 2016, she joined FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and was able to understand how important programming learning at an early age was.

She would spend five hours of her day coding, programming games and designing bots and helped her team in getting selected in FIRST World Championship. However, during the contest she realised that there were only boys and very few girl participants.

When she dug in deep, she came to know that due to a lack of resources and confidence, they were not able to make the progress they should have. She wanted to do something to change the then situation.

So, in 2018 Arushi came up with an initiative named Unknown16 where she not only organized workshops but also created resources online which focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics along with programming and it wasn’t limited to school going students of New Jersey but also to the ones in College.

She even went on to collaborate on a youth collective in Bihar, Lahanti Club, and took virtual classes on the weekends. She teaches about 300 students in Bihar’s villages of Kumbadih, Naiadih, Jabardah and Govindpur.

In fact, she even ended up setting up computer labs for the students. Her parents provided all the support and even helped her build her website for her initiative Unknown16.

After her website was completed, Arushi also added resources for students who wanted to learn Python, Scratch, Java, CSS and HTML along with Data Visualisation. She also conducts workshops at libraries that are located in her neighbourhood.

She even started a campaign on GoFundMe in October 2019 to help her raise a thousand dollars to help her build the infrastructure including purchasing the computers and furniture. So far, she has already raised $450.

Presently, Arushi is teaching those kids in Bihar to read and write in English, as for coding, the basic knowledge of the language is a necessity. Once they learn this, she will start with the basics of coding for those underprivileged children.

Along with this, Arushi also happens to be a UN Climate Action Speaker and activist. She has also launched her first book Project: Hackathon which is available on Amazon.