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London Teen wins National Lottery Award for her work in STEM sector

18th October 2022

A Wimbledon teenager scooped the Young Hero title at the National Lottery Awards 2022 for her project that runs workshops teaching disadvantaged young women skills to improve their confidence and opportunities.

A family of three people with the daughter in the middle holding a bunch of flowers
Avye Couloute, celebrating with her parents

14-year-old Avye Couloute started coding aged seven when she attended a physical computing club. She loved how she could use code to move things on the screen or to control electronic components, and began to actively research and learn more skills in her spare time.  

When Avye (pron. Avee) noticed that most of the attendees at these digital workshops were boys, she founded Girls Into Coding (GIC), working with girls aged 10 to 14, a critical age for shaping future pathways. Through a combination of workshops and talks delivered by trailblazing women and girls in the tech sector, GIC not only improves the girls’ digital making abilities, it also develops their skills in problem solving, teamwork and resilience, thereby building their confidence and opening their eyes to new pathways.  The activities help the girls become aware of new possibilities beyond their current horizons, opening them up to careers and further activities in the STEM sector.

The National Lottery Awards are the annual celebration of the inspirational individuals and groups who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

More than 1,300 nominations were received in this year’s campaign and a judging panel selected Avye as the winner of the Young Hero category which celebrates under 25’s doing inspirational things in their community with National Lottery funding.

A young woman, Avye Couloute, with her robotic project
National Lottery Young Hero 2022, Avye Couloute

Avye said of her win, Avye said of her win, “I was so shocked to have won a National Lottery Award but it’s a real honour. I love that Girls into Coding is able to give opportunities to so many girls from diverse backgrounds and offer them the possibility of learning about a sector that is mainly dominated by boys. “National Lottery funding has allowed us to run workshops and set up talks with many inspirational women from the STEM sector and this will inspire a new generation of women to hopefully take up coding and technology jobs or at the very least, give them the chance to learn about the opportunities available’.

Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, said: “We’re so excited to have Avye as our Young Hero winner. She is an incredibly inspirational person who at only 14, understands the true value of helping those in her community through new skills and giving them opportunities they may not have had before.

“It’s thanks to National Lottery players, that more than £30 million is raised for good causes across the country every week, making vital projects like Girls Into Coding possible.”

Winners in each category receive a £5,000 cash prize for their organisation and a National Lottery Awards trophy.

A short film of the outstanding work of Avye and her project can be viewed on the link at the top of the page.