KOrbin Deary, an 18-year-old resident of San Gabriel, discovered his passion in life at a young age: computer programming.
“When I was about 9 years old, I played a lot of video games on my parents’ computer,” said Korbin. “I was so infatuated with these games and wanted to know how they were made, so I googled (for info).”
Korbin said discovery is his main motivation in life, which has led him on a continuous journey in computing and business.
Korbin was homeschooled by California Virtual Academy from the age of 9, where he found he learned better independently.
“I liked homeschooling because it allowed me to get a lot more exposure to computer science than if I were in a public school,” he said. “The teachers my dad got really knew what they were doing and shared a passion for what they were teaching.”
Another helpful resource that Korbin found in his discovery was CodeHS.com, which teaches high school students the basics of coding. Through the courses, he mastered various programming languages and started creating and developing websites as a teenager.
“Building websites is more complex because you have to make sure that what you build can be viewed on different screens, browsers and phone screens,” said Korbin. “I like it because it makes you a better developer and makes you think more about the end user so it’s accessible.”
At age 11, Korbin was introduced to LA Makerspace’s (later renamed Coding Crew) Scratch Squad, which led him to teach more than 80 classes in schools, libraries and churches over a five-year period. He also excelled at public speaking, as his father enrolled him in acting classes.
“Scratch Squad (had the concept) maybe kids can teach kids better than adults can teach kids,” Korbin said. “I am very grateful to LA Makerspace for giving me a lot of experience teaching courses.”
At age 16, Korbin passed the California High School Proficiency Examination and enrolled at Pasadena City College to receive his Associate of Science degree in Computer Information Systems – Programming. His achievements include winning first place in the 2017 Pasadena Computer Science Club hackathon for developing a web application that displays recipes using items in the refrigerator, and a certificate of achievement in computer information systems in 2019. He graduated from community college that year and was also able to attend Attend the PCC Veterans Resource Center Graduation Ceremony.
“I was very fortunate to have the timing to attend (the Veterans Resource Center graduation),” said Korbin. “It was an honor for me.”
Between high school, Korbin contributed to Pasadena Media, earning a television production and producer certificate, and hosted a few episodes of his show “Korbin’s Kode” to teach viewers how to code.
In 2018, he won two awards from the Western Access Video Excellence Awards program for local cable programming in the fields of arts and entertainment and youth programming. Korbin also continued to hone his skills through small projects and became a full-stack software engineer.
“When I started doing web design and web development for small businesses, I realized that my work and my hobbies are the same,” said Korbin. He also enjoys drawing and making electronic dance music.
Growing up in a fourth-generation Army family, Korbin learned the important values and standards of the industry.
“There are Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage that we learn through service or inherit from our parents,” Korbin said. “These values have helped us in our decisions.”
To follow in his family’s military footsteps, he enlisted in the Army National Guard at age 17 and participated in the Recruitment Sustainment Program. He also attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry. Korbin later completed Advanced Individual Training as a MOS 25L (cable system installer/maintainer) in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
“Family was the biggest motivator and I wanted to serve in a way,” said Korbin. “I chose the National Guard because I didn’t want to go on active duty and wanted to be close to me.”
Korbin developed his passion for being an entrepreneur by watching his family members develop and grow their businesses. His father, Keno Sr. Deary, founded the Rosemead Youth Leadership Center where he taught young people how to lead others; his mother, Janet Chin, founded the Hawaiian dessert company called Aloha Kulolo; his older brother, Keno Jr., 22, founded TechNinja, which provides tech support to seniors, and his younger brother, Kasden, 15, is studying finance at PCC to start his own business.
“Everyone is always thinking of new ventures that they have in mind,” said Korbin. “We all have a commercial background; it is important for leadership. I can be a great computer scientist, but if I want to do something bigger, I need a business background.”
Keno Sr. said the family saying is to turn passions into profit.
“That’s what everyone wants to do: make money and be happy,” Keno Sr. said. “A lot of entrepreneurs know what they’re doing.”
Korbin is the founder of Korbin’s Kode, a non-profit organization founded in 2017 at the age of 13. He received grants from Southern California Edison and financial support from his father to start his organization.
“The SoCal Edison grants have been very helpful,” said Korbin. “I gave back to their ASCEND (Asian Society for Cultural Exchange Networking and Diversity) program
by teaching kids and parents to code.”
The organization focuses on teaching youth ages 8-16 the basics of coding through one-on-one classes, small group classes, and workshops. To date, he has taught more than 90 classes and workshops in person and virtually.
“It aims to give children the tools to understand technology in the 21st century,” said Korbin. “I’m complacent because I enjoy volunteering and sharing information about technology.”
Korbin is also the founder of Korbin Website Solution, which was founded in 2018 and offers services for 404 error fixing, photo and video updates, social media links, search engine optimization, adding widgets and maintenance in person and virtually.
“I wanted to help smaller businesses grow and give them an online presence,” he said.
Although Korbin Website Solution has helped most businesses in the San Gabriel Valley, his long-term goal is to continue to grow it.
“I want to start teaching teachers and find new young talent who have the same passion for technology as I do,” he said. “I want to give them the tools to share that passion with other people.”
Keno Sr. was Korbin’s greatest cheerleader and coach along the way.
“He has leadership qualities and a talent to stick to what he wants to do,” Keno Sr. said. “Entrepreneurship has to be in your blood, it’s a way of life.”
Korbin will soon be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he plans to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. Upon graduation in 2026, he will complete his five-year commitment to serve as a Cyber Officer for the Army.
After that, his future discoveries are wide open.
“Any work I do will be through contracts,” said Korbin. “(Long term) I want to work for myself. I love to learn and allow myself to be a guide on journeys through whatever interests me.”