4 of Karlie Kloss' Most Empowering Moments

August 26th 2015

Laura Donovan

The past few months have been busy for 23-year-old model Karlie Kloss. A few weeks ago, she celebrated her birthday with the help of famous pal Taylor Swift, and in May, she appeared in Swift's popular, widely discussed music video for the song "Bad Blood." While many would call it a day after appearing on September cover of Glamour and posing for other publications, Kloss' work isn't done. The Midwest native is also elevating young women interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine) careers through her coding scholarship.

Though many know Kloss as a model and member of Swift's growing squad, she's an empowering figure in her own right. Here's why she is a wonderful role model for women.

1. She started the Kode with Karlie Scholarship


A photo posted by @karliekloss on

Earlier this year, Kloss teamed up with New York City-based coding bootcamp the Flatiron School to create the #KodeWithKarlie scholarship for female teens ages 13 to 18. Kloss launched this project after taking a coding class at the Flatiron School last year. She was hooked from day one.

"It just kind of clicked for me," she told Fashionista of her first class. "If I had a day off work, I would code. I'd take more classes ... I had this amazing teacher at the Flatiron School who had this incredible approach to teaching. That's why I think it clicked for me and made me want to share my experience. [Kode for Karlie] is really quite new but because of the donation that Marc is supporting, we're actually going to make it much bigger."


A photo posted by @karliekloss on


A photo posted by @karliekloss on

In 2015, Kode with Karlie granted 21 scholarships to young ladies all over the U.S. More than 600 people applied, and applicants were required to send in a 60-second video summarizing why they were interested in coding. Kloss said she had a rough time with the rejection process.

"It was so hard to turn girls down," she told the publication. "Everyone was worthy of a scholarship. Next summer we'll be able to offer it to a lot more girls."

"I think it's crucial that young women learn to code as early as possible to ensure that we have a voice and a stake in what the world looks like," Kloss says in the video above.

Over the summer, Fusion interviewed Amanda Southworth, one of the young women selected for the scholarship program. The teenager explained she first learned about Kode with Karlie in a BuzzFeed article.

“I’m just 13, going into a place with juniors and seniors," she said. "I haven’t started high school yet and these people are, like, veterans."

Southworth added that she found out she was accepted into the program during class.

“I started screaming and my humanities teacher told me to get out of the classroom," she said. "I told her why but she was like, ‘Oh, that’s no excuse.’ It’s a perfect excuse!”

2. She is pursuing higher education


A photo posted by @karliekloss on

This fall, Kloss will attend New York University to study computer science. In a July interview with Fashionista, Kloss said that she has many interests outside of modeling, including baking and coding.

"Modeling has kept me very busy, but it's not my sole focus," she told the publication. "I've made time for my baking career, learning how to code, and I just got accepted to NYU."

In a more recent interview with the same publication, she said she's curious by nature.

"I think, all in all, I'm a very curious person," she said. "I love to challenge myself to learn new things—be it code, or business, or baking, or even different industries. Being back in a school environment is only going to help compel those curiosities and allow me to study what I'm really interested in."

3. She owns her love for baking


A photo posted by @karliekloss on


A photo posted by @karliekloss on

As earlier stated, Kloss enjoys baking, much like her pal Taylor Swift. She owns the fact that she has a broad range of interests, and this goes to show you can love being in the kitchen and coding at the same time. Kloss' passion for various hobbies is truly inspiring.

4. She's philanthropic

Kloss wants to make sure those in need can benefit from her love of baking. Two years ago, Kloss made "fashionably wholesome," vegan, and gluten-free goodies for Momofuku Milk Bar and all the proceeds went to humanitarian organization FEED, which is dedicated to fighting world hunger.

“I torture everyone with my cooking, I love to bake," she told Fashion Indie at the time. "I made Karlie’s Kookies and with the purchase of every cookie, a donation is made to FEED. I teamed up with Momofuku Milk Bar (where we produce all the kookies) and we came up with this wholesome recipe. Its vegan, gluten free, and is made with almonds, oats, dark chocolate, olive oil. No butter, no sugar– totally fashion week friendly. Next Fashion Week for Fashion’s Night Out, I want to have a cookie truck!”


A photo posted by @karliekloss on

Designer Marc Fisher recently started #MAKEYOURMARC, a social initiative meant to highlight women doing positive work in their communities. Fisher says he will donate $1 to Kode with Karlie for every Instagram post that uses the hashtag. Speaking to Marie Claire, Fisher said he picked Kloss' program based on her work in uplifting young women.

"After spending time with Karlie, I understood she was using her voice to advocate change and inspire girls and women to develop their own strong voices," he said. "That is something I've personally always encouraged in my daughters."