by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

An Amazing Programmer

Sarah Brown may seem like a typical Torrey Pines High School senior who enjoys the usual teenage girl pastimes. For example, she revealed, “I love all things entertainment – movies, music [Sarah plays the oboe], art, and books.” She also has an interest in journalism and visual layout, and is the assistant editor-in-chief for her school newspaper. But what is most surprising about Sarah is her love of computer programming.

Even Sarah admitted, “People tend to have the preconceived notion that programmers are guys and geeks, so when I meet others for the first time, they seem taken aback by the fact that I like programming. But I have wanted to study Computer Science for as long as I can remember, and I feel lucky to have found a passion at such a young age that I can pursue going forward with my career.”

The Carmel Valley-based nonprofit programming school The League of Amazing Programmers is especially responsible for fostering Sarah’s interest in computing. Sarah’s father stumbled upon the school by chance a few years ago and on a whim asked Sarah if she wanted to try a few classes there. Sarah recalled, “I went in knowing nothing about programming and have been hooked ever since! Overall I just feel as if I have gathered a lot of valuable skills that I would not be able to get anywhere else at a young age.”


Last year Sarah passed her Oracle Java programmer certification and she’s hoping to pass her next certification by this summer. Sarah also teaches a class once a week at The League of Amazing Programmers, and she exclaimed, “It is just an amazing experience helping others realize their passion, especially since we share that passion of computing!”

“I feel lucky to have found a passion at such a young age that I can pursue going forward with my career.”

At the moment Sarah is considering attending either Cornell University or the Georgia Institute of Technology for her undergraduate studies, and she stated, “I am looking forward to more specialized education and real-world interaction.” Citing English as her favorite subject in school, Sarah hopes to ideally meld her fondness for language with her joy of programming. She elaborated, “I appreciate creativity and sometimes dabble in graphic design and multimedia, and I hope to eventually weave that appreciation into my love for computers and work in media-oriented industries such as animation, editing, and user interaction.” Move over, Bill Gates: here comes Sarah Brown.

Name: Sarah Brown (17)
School: Torrey Pines High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Michael & Hyun Soo Brown
Sibling: Helen Brown (22)
Favorite Place in 92130: The League of Amazing Programmers