Persistence Is the Name of the Game

Ever been stuck, confused with how to study pre-calculus? I certainly have. Recently, my math teacher referred me to watch a Khan Academy video to further understand the topic of functions. I lit up, excited, because I recently had the extreme honor in interviewing Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy!

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization aimed towards educating for free. The site has over 4,500 lecture videos that serve as a tutor for students seeking help.

On September 19, 2013, Girls Innovate! held a Rapid Fire Q&A with Sal Khan. After many attempts at trying to contact Sal Khan, “our persistence” is what made Mr. Khan finally agree.

The evening started off with my short interview with Mr. Khan right before the Q&A session. I was only able to ask three questions due to the time crunch, but it was thrilling to hear the perspective of Mr. Khan before the Q&A. The interview was very relaxed, and his voice reminded me of the countless videos I’ve watched to sharpen my math and science skills.

It was interesting to hear Mr. Khan’s perspective of Girls Innovate! as a new non-profit organization. I also added a personal question of how he believes education is a human right. He responded by saying, “Khan Academy is all about giving people the right to be educated. That’s why it’s free. We’re working really hard to keep it this way as well.”

Later, girls of all ages were able to ask Mr. Khan a couple of questions, ranging from: “How can I become a part of the Khan Academy team?” and “How will Khan Academy remain as a free organization?” and “What is the long term vision for Khan Academy?” In the beginning, students were hesitant and anxious to be in the presence of such a substantial figure. But, as the minutes rolled by, they started to become comfortable and found Mr. Khan a relatable figure. Click here to watch individual clips of the girls firing away at their questions – and Mr. Khan reflecting and responding earnestly.

Many students agreed that it was a fun event to attend. The Rapid Fire increased their knowledge in how to become an entrepreneur and Mr. Khan gave very useful tips for success. It’s not everyday you spend your afternoons with a founder of a worldwide organization.

Watch my recap segment about the Q&A below: