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Queenette started her career in development in education. Her interests and desire to work in an environment catered towards advocating for equity and diversity led her to Code Nation. She loves comedy and enjoys watching/listening to comedian specials and likes exploring new food options.
COO & Treasurer
Francesca started her career in Digital Marketing before dedicating two and a half years building a workforce development non-profit: coop.cx. She is continuing the work of creating more equitable pathways to careers by supporting Code Nation’s mission behind the scenes. Francesca’s love for Excel is only surpassed by her love for Pepe, her mischievous, but very cute, dog.
Talent & Equity Manager
After graduating from West Virginia University with degrees in Psychology and Criminology, Ashley worked as a leader in the retail industry for the better half of a decade throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Their passion for empowering individuals from underrepresented communities led them to Code Nation. They are excited to bring their diverse experience to an organization that shares their values. Nothing excites them more than a good dad joke and the smell of new sneakers.
Kenya Brown became passionate about working with students when she served as an Americorps Teaching Fellow in 2018. After completing a year of service, she continued to develop her career while working in programming for a national education nonprofit. Kenya is currently in the process of receiving a graduate degree in School Counseling. She hopes to one day utilize her knowledge to provide aspects of social emotional learning into curricula, andpromote student’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.
Joliz is a youth development specialist originally from the Bronx. She’s trained students and educators in Croatia, South Africa, and every borough of NYC. She joined Code Nation to provide students with the tools to disrupt the tech industry. Joliz can be found testing recipes and enjoying her reign as pop culture trivia queen.
Kate joined Code Nation because she is passionate about democratizing access to education and professional networks within the tech industry, an industry that increasingly structures our political, professional, cultural, and social realities. Prior to joining Code Nation, Kate researched and taught media history at UT Austin. In her spare time, Kate enjoys watching movies and Survivor with her partner and their incorrigible Basset-mix, Mickey.
Ethan Davis began his career in North Charleston, SC, where he explored methods to capture the wisdom of local people via storytelling; thereby supporting communities to self-determine their own futures. Most recently he taught high school English and History on the Diné (Navajo) Nation, highlighting his mission of identity work, asking questions, and empowering people towards self-actualization. For fun, he loves cooking, mountain biking, and his cats.
MARCUS DEL VALLE
Marcus is a youth development specialist with experience with tutoring, curriculum/learning design, event planning/ hosting, and human rights education. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Marcus has been able to combine his passions for youth work, gaming, and creative writing to create fun gamified, and exciting classrooms. Through this work, Marcus has come to view coding as a means of developing grit and securing futures for youth. He sees his work at Code Nation as the perfect opportunity to do just that!
Ambar is a full-stack developer who discovered her passion in advocating for STEM education, specifically for young underrepresented minority students. When she is not coding, teaching or talking about tech, you can find her doing outdoorsy activities.
Associate Director of Programs
Kelsey started her career as a bilingual elementary school teacher through Teach for America in Chicago and then taught in Santiago, Chile. Kelsey’s educational philosophy is that all students can learn, especially when provided with access to hands-on STEM classroom experiences. When she’s not traveling the world, Kelsey loves hiking, yoga, and discovering Chicago’s best breakfast sandwiches.
Kellie has spent two decades in the non-profit sector, working to ensure that all individuals and communities have the resources they need to thrive. She previously served as the Senior Vice President, District Engagement & Data Experience at City Year, Inc, a national education nonprofit, where she led the organization’s use of data to inform programs and partnerships, and designed and implemented the organization’s public revenue fundraising strategy, bringing in $50 million in revenue annually. Kellie also serves as Vice President of the Haddon Township Board of Education in New Jersey, a member of the New Jersey School Boards Association’s statewide Equity Council, and as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Books for Kids. In her spare time, Kellie can be found playing with her two rescue dogs, reading mystery novels, and enjoying New Jersey’s unofficial state food, pork roll.
Associate Director of Programs
Cassie is a former educator committed to work that addresses educational equity and the digital divide. Before Code Nation, she was a special education teacher in Chicago and San Francisco, where she coached new teachers, and engaged in policy and advocacy work. In her spare time, Cassie enjoys running, exploring the outdoors, and occasionally watching reality television.
Senior Program Manager
Mika, a former teacher, has a passion for curriculum development, increasing access to educational resources, and technology of all kinds. She taught middle school science for six years and believes in building meaningful, lasting relationships with her students. In her spare time, she enjoys passing time with her fiancé and cat, reading (especially on rainy days), and early morning yoga.
SHANTINA JACKSON-ROMERO, PHD
Shantina Jackson-Romero, PhD, has been a STEM education leader in the Bay Area for over 10 years. She loves her hometown of Richmond, California and is passionate about connecting students of color to careers in tech. Away from the office, Shantina can be found singing karaoke, playing old school arcade games, and devouring books about the history of education in the United States.
Assiatou is passionate about ensuring students have the knowledge and support they need to make informed choices about the lives they will live. She loves to foster classroom environments that prioritize practicing co-creation and exercising agency. Before coming to Code Nation, she did college access work in Detroit. Outside of work, she is about everything food, hair, and books.
KARLA ORTIZ MARTINEZ
Karla is a former high school chemistry teacher who is passionate about educational equity. She joined Code Nation to address the inequity in educational technology Karla saw firsthand as a first-generation graduate. In her free time, Karla can be found reading, wandering around the Bay Area, or finding new movies and tv shows to binge.
Associate Director of Programs
A Dominicana from Brooklyn, Pamela has dedicated her life to working with students from low-income backgrounds & bridging educational gaps. She previously taught English for five years at a charter middle school in Brooklyn. There she learned to prioritize relationship building, teaching outside the box, & pushing kids to be their best. She is proud to join Code Nation in continuing this work in the tech community! Issues of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion have been a part of what challenges her to continue this work. Outside of work, you can find Pamela involved in providing tools to her peers to live anti-racist lives, reading, getting some sun (ideally on a beach somewhere), or spending time with her loved ones.
Career Success Associate
Through a career spent in education and workforce development, Mollie has learned that community is everything. She is so excited to help support Code Nation alumni community and use her skills and experience to serve alumni as they make their way towards careers in tech. In her spare time, Mollie enjoys baking and adventuring with her two rescue dogs.
Director of Operations and Internal Communications
After graduate school, Vatissa was excited to move back to the Bay Area to start a career with a social justice minded organization. Her passion for equitable access to the creative economy, education, and sustainable nonprofit growth led her to Code Nation! In her spare time, Vatissa is hanging out with her dog in nature, practicing yoga, and traveling.
Senior Partnerships & Communications Manager
Aarti is passionate about working to address educational equity and helping young people have agency in their learning and lives. Before joining Code Nation, she managed a youth creative writing program in New York City and helped middle schoolers write imaginative stories. She spends her time outside of work exploring her new neighborhood, writing fiction, and borrowing too many books from the library.
Before coming to Code Nation, Shane taught middle school science in San Antonio through Teach for America and was a campus leader for Citizen Schools in East Harlem. He is deeply passionate about equipping students with the skills and experiences needed to become our future innovators and leaders. Shane enjoys biking around the city and hanging out with his cats, Harriet and Marvin.
Director of Programs
As a New York native, Ambar grew up in the public school education system and has a passion for providing access and resources to youth in under served communities. She is a former science teacher and school leader, in both Harlem and Brooklyn. Ambar joined Code Nation excited to help equip students with the tools to make informed decisions and enter the tech industry. Outside of work you can find Ambar at your local plant store buying a new addition to her family.
John is a former educator and Teach For America Houston alumni, with a STEM background, and LGBTQIA+ advocate. He’s a big proponent of civic, student, parent and community engagement, identity and inclusion. Outside of the classroom, you can find him at poetry competitions, volunteering, singing, cooking, and dancing.
Senior Volunteer and Partnerships Manager
EMILY ROSE PRATS
Emily Rose believes in the power of language, role modeling, and early & equitable access to resources. She has a BFA in musical theatre, 5+ years of content marketing and community management experience, and a dog obsession. You can find her biking around Brooklyn, thrifting, or doing a jigsaw puzzle. If you have a dog, she’ll find you.
Fahim is very passionate about STEM, bringing his passion to Code Nation to fight inequality in the education system. A firm believer in equitable access, Fahim’s goal is to provide resources to students from under-resourced communities to achieve their true potential in the tech industry. Fahim taught middle school science for a year and a half in Harlem before joining Code Nation. On the weekends, you can find him playing guitar with his band or writing and producing music.
Senior Program Manager
After teaching in Romania and Brooklyn, Meg was inspired to join the Code Nation team and continue the work of making education more equitable and tech more accessible to all students. In her spare time, Meg enjoys yoga, exploring new restaurants, and watching reality competition shows.
Senior Program Manager
Coach Ana Rivera comes from a futbol background, coaching youth ages 7—18 with a focus on underrepresented communities in Oakland and expanding the My Yute soccer program to Jamaica. Formally, coach Ana was working in the Autonomous Industry testing software on self-driving cars. After noticing a lack of diversity in Ai, Ana transitioned into a field that addresses diversity at the root. Code Nation is the ideal organization that both tackles the lack of diversity in tech and equips youth to enter the industry. Ana enjoys playing, watching, and coaching futbol. She also loves to dance, cook and play with her pup.
Marylyn has a background in education, having done her Teach for America commitment in Miami, FL. She’s a first generation college graduate and believes that students deserve the opportunity to have fulfilling lives and access to financial freedom. She is happy to be working in her hometown of Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys reading and being outdoors.
Carolina is a Chicago native and first generation Latinx. After teaching Chemistry in Chicago Public Schools for five years, she has joined Code Nation to continue in her work in establishing STEM exposure and opportunities to Chicago’s youth. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, binge watching tv shows and traveling to new and exciting locations.
Ron has two decades of experience across technology and education sectors, bridged through an intentional focus on equitable access to learning and pathways to careers in computer science and tech-related fields. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of Computer Science Education at the NYC Department of Education, overseeing the 10-year CS4ALL initiative and the long-term goal to build sustainable K-12 programming and learning experiences for all one million students. Ron spent the early part of his career teaching high school students design, entrepreneurial, and computational thinking by blending experiences from the tech startup world into his classroom. Outside of the office, Ron enjoys weekend adventures with his family of four, cycling through New Jersey’s scenic neighborhoods, and pretending to be an expert landscaper.
Managing Director, Talent & Equity
Claytoya is a native New Yorker who has spent over a decade in the non-profit sector serving in talent management, program management and volunteer management leadership roles. She is passionate about education equity, people analytics, and anti-racism in the workplace. Outside of work, Claytoya enjoys blogging and canvassing for local political organizations to advance critical civil liberties issues in the U.S.
Director of Finance and Compliance
Jake has a passion for social justice issues, especially ones affecting the Bay Area. He comes to the team having managed operations in the food and beverage industry for the past several years and looks forward to bringing those skills to a more rewarding field. In his free time, you can find him in the mountains, seasonally shifting between backpacking, skiing, and fly fishing.
Managing Director, Development
Diana spent more than a decade of her career at Teach For America as a fundraiser. She is passionate about ending educational inequity and is drawn to Code Nation’s mission to foster a new generation of leaders and break the social and economic inequities in the tech industry. Outside of work, Diana loves hiking, hanging at the beach, and exploring with her partner & their toddler.
Dzarif is passionate about addressing socioeconomic inequities by helping mission-driven teams sustain their work and amplify their impact. Prior to Code Nation, he served as a fundraiser in organizations tackling issues within the criminal justice and transportation systems. Outside of work, Dzarif enjoys exploring Brooklyn neighborhoods by bicycle, discovering new music, and watching movies.
Director of Programs
Briana joined Code Nation because she believes that students in under-resourced schools deserve the same learning opportunities that students in affluent zip codes receive; and that greater access to careers in tech will change lives. A Chicago native, Briana is a former special education teacher and knows that all students have unlimited potential. Outside of work, Briana is a travel-loving yoga enthusiast and also leads her church’s youth group.
Senior Manager, Communications & Marketing
Elisabeth brings an excitement for and experience in nonprofit and education marketing and brand-building to her role at Code Nation. She wholeheartedly believes that real change in the tech industry begins in the classroom, and is focused on intentional, inclusive communications. Outside work, Elisabeth loves exploring new Chicago restaurants and spending time with her two rescue dogs.
Kate is a former educator with a background in STEM Education and is an LGBTQIA+ advocate. Kate was inspired to join the Code Nation team and continue the work of making education more equitable and tech more accessible to all students. In her spare time, Kate likes to explore the different Chicago neighborhoods.