Self-taught African Teen Wows MIT

Self-taught African Teen Wows MIT

15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus. Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the “Visiting Practitioner’s Program” at MIT. THNKR had exclusive access to Kelvin and his life-changing journey – experiencing the US for the first time, exploring incredible opportunities, contending with homesickness, and mapping out his future. Here is a link to the Bobby Fala track in the video on SoundCloud: Check-out David’s Crowdrise page: Photos courtesy of Adam Cohn ( and Paula Aguilera PRODIGIES is a bi-weekly series showcasing the youngest and brightest as they challenge themselves to reach new heights and the stories behind them. Created and produced by, THNKR gives you extraordinary access to the people, stories, places and thinking that will change your mind. Follow THNKR on Twitter: Like us on Facebook: Check out our Pinterest: SUBSCRIBE!

23 thoughts on “Self-taught African Teen Wows MIT

  1. As highlighted by David, and obviously ignored by very very many, is that the AID does not end up where it should. Don’t you people wonder what has happened to this money over the decades? I’m tried of seeing ‘Make Poverty History’ and all those other self-serving groups, because for decades money has been squandered. Wake up you bunch of lemmings.

  2. Umm I don’t think Kelvin would fit with the Simon Cowell World. But Lets hope MIT, Caltech and other Tech Schools/Colleges/Universities all over the world do take Kelvin. Lets Hope Kelvin works for Space X, or any Company that accepts with Kelvins Talent.

  3. What a great video. I hope Kelvin can inspire other kids his age into doing what he does. And also, to teach Americans (mostly NYers) that when someone says hello or good morning to you, say it back. This is from a former NY-er, now in Jersey, where strangers do tell you hello.

  4. This is fantastic! I am 14 and have been even more inspired to reach others because of this video! Thank you so much for bringing this to light! Also, Kelvin is so inspiring for not only intellectual beginnings, but emotional because of the way he was going to use his abilities for his family and community! So inspiring and moving! May God bless you both and everyone involved!

  5. This is inspiring. When I was young I loved tinkering and learning how things work I remember making some projects work which gave me ecstatic. Kevin and this video inspires me. If I was not able to live out my dream of making things at least I can find Filipino kids who like Kevin Doe loves working and making things. I like to do a “David Sengeh” for a Filipino kid.

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