About Code/Interactive

Code/Interactive is a not-for-profit organization that cultivates the potential of America’s youth by ensuring that all students have access to a high-caliber computer science education, entrepreneurship opportunities, and industry exposure. C/I focuses on eliminating the representation gap in technology careers across lines of ethnicity, income, and gender/expression.

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C/I Team Members

MICHAEL DENTON

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CEO

Mike, an Ohio transplant and one of The Observer’s recent top young philanthropists, is focused on making sure every student has access to quality computer science education. Michael joined the ranks of Code/Interactive as Program Director after 6 years of volunteering and sitting on the Young Executive Board.

Prior to joining C/I, Michael was an executive producer at Code and Theory and managed small and large teams of web specialists to create tailored web-based community experiences. Michael received his MBA from The University of Cincinnati and holds a B.A. in Marketing/International Business from The Ohio State University.

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TOM O'CONNELL

VP, PROGRAMS & PARTNERSHIPS

Tom is a former high school physics & computer science teacher and Teach For America alumnus who joined Code/Interactive to build a program that includes professional development, student hackathons, career engagement, internships, and content coaching for computer science teachers and their students. Tom has fostered partnerships & supported teachers with schools and districts nationally as a part of the CSForAll Initiative.

Tom is a frequent speaker and panelist who organizes and hosts education and tech events. He is an adjunct professor at the Lehman College Graduate School of Education and a facilitator for Exploring Computer Science.

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CHRIS OTT

VP, DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONS

Chris Ott, a Brooklynite by way of Amsterdam, Houston, Atlanta, and various parts of Michigan, leads C/I’s development and operations efforts with the aim of creating a sustainable Code/Interactive.

A closet chemist and out-and-proud mathematician at heart, Chris entered the education space 10 years ago as a middle school science teacher, and has since then coached an extraordinarily talented crew of middle school math teachers, led the operations and finance side of Teach For America’s Houston institute, studied social science research methods and new media at the VU in the Netherlands, and managed special projects for Teach For America’s national development team.

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CARLOS LEON

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PROGRAMS

Carlos, a 2011 Teach For America Minneapolis corp member, began his career as a first grade immersion Spanish teacher; he then held multiple leadership and coaching roles within Minneapolis Public Schools over the following several years. Carlos then studied at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education where he interned and conducted research with EcoLearn’s ecoXPT Project and with Scratch, MIT’s platform for teaching computer science.

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ZUZANNA KOBRZYNSKI

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, DEVELOPMENT & EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

Zuzanna brings a variety of private and public sector experience as the assistant to the editor at Slate, a specialist at FEMA, and the assistant director of NYU’s Center for the US and the Cold War. Prior to joining Code/Interactive, Zuzanna successfully founded and launched Girls Code Fun in Warsaw, Poland – a foundation that taught computer science to girls ages 8-12.

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JEN NOBORIKAWA

SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER

Jen is a former public school math and history teacher that was inspired by the power of computer science as a tool for creativity and social justice. She manages C/I’s partnership with Code.org, coaches teachers, develops curriculum, and organizes hackathons. Jen holds a M.Ed. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a B.A in American Studies from Scripps College. She is also a graduate of Fullstack Academy’s Software Engineering Immersive.

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JULIA BARRAFORD-TEMEL

CODING4TX PROGRAM MANAGER

Jules began her career in in middle schools and high schools in San Diego, California. Since then, she has taught English and Computer Science in New Hampshire, Turkey and Texas focusing on interactive and inclusive curricula. When teaching computer science and coding she realized the incredible possibilities CS education provided the students and their communities, and decided to dedicate herself to expanding access to technology education across communities in Central Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.

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LINK CLARK

CODING4TX PROGRAM MANAGER

Link was a high school history teacher in California, New York, and Texas before joining Code/Interactive. The opportunity to increase diversity in tech was too exciting to pass up because his experience teaching in the three tech hubs of San Francisco, NYC, and Austin taught him that the tech industry was not accessing all the available talent. When not working, Link is slowly finishing his PhD in history.

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CHELSEA HYON

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Chelsea has a diverse background, comprised of a B.S. in Psychology (Pre-Med) from Manhattan College, an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from The New School, as well as experience as a commercial producer. She joined C/I with the desire to use this combined knowledge of production and management to makes some serious change in diversity in tech.

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TASHA GREEN

PROGRAM MANAGER

Natasha Green has an entrepreneurial spirit and is a former mathematics teacher for the NYC DOE. She has touched on each letter in the acronym S.T.E.M. She is a Master’s Candidate for Computational Chemistry (S). A technopreneur for “We Intervene,” a Referral Management System for Schools (T). She created molecular diodes to study conductance at the molecular level (E). And lastly, she has taught high school math in the Bronx (M). Tasha has her own part-time archery business in NYC and believes that everyone should, “Let their dreams fly.” She is also a volunteer lead for the NYC chapter of the Anita Borg Institute, and advocates for Black and Hispanic youth to have more technical resources in schools.

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ALEX LIS-PERLIS

PROGRAM MANAGER

Alex is a former middle school educator and comes to C/I after finding her way into STEAM education by way of Girls Who Code, Citizen Schools and Big Idea Week. Alex is excited to have the opportunity to leverage partnerships across public, civic and private sectors to provide Code/Interactive students with exposure and experience in the tech industry.

In 2016 Alex became a Fellow for Emerging Leaders in Public Service through the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. She is passionate about contributing meaningfully to progressive education reform and is an active member with NYCoRE and SURJ NYC.

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AMELIA (RHEMA) FORREST

PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

Amelia Forrest is a current undergraduate student at Queens College studying Finance and Economics. When she first started working at Code Interactive in October of 2014, she managed corporate partnerships and the foundation grants pipeline while maintaining donor cultivation. Now Amelia migrated by working on the day to day finances and program support. Amelia hopes to effectively serve underserved youth through her precise and diligent work. On her days off she likes to explore New York City and search for amazing food spots.

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JIM LERMAN

BATS PROJECT LEAD

For nearly 50 years, Jim has devoted himself to improved outcomes for low-income, urban students in K-12 and higher education. Teacher professional development and school improvement programs under his leadership have won awards on both the state and national levels. Jim has led the startup of 4 new secondary schools and 3 nonprofits, served on the boards of 10 organizations, and led and collaborated in winning grants of more than $20 million. He has been an award-winning English teacher, audiovisual specialist, Language Arts supervisor, staff development director, technology director, principal, Assistant Superintendent, consultant, and university professor. In addition, he served as Teach For America’s National Director of Professional Development and is proud to be a Google Certified Innovator.

Jim is particularly interested in how technology can enhance all people’s’ capacity for effective communication, problem solving, and relationship building. He has written 4 best-selling books about skillful internet use in K-12 schools. Prior to joining Code/Interactive to organize the Big Apple Tech Scholarship program, Jim was the founding director of the Possibility Zone Makerspace at Kean University. His bachelor’s degree is in Political Science from Brown University; he holds one master’s degree in teaching and a second in school administration from Kean University; his doctoral work was done in Organizational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

KIRK MCDONALD

President
PubMatic

SLOANE BARBOUR

Regional
Director
Jobspring

MATT COHEN

Founder
Invest
Forward

ADON DAVIS

Senior
Manager
Accenture

THOR ERNSTSSON

CEO
Alpha

CRAIG MEISNER

Fundraising
Professional

DAVID PASHMAN

General Counsel
MeetUp

JOSEPH YASGUR

Owner
JMJ Realty

MICHAEL VOSTRIZANSKY

VP
Pine Brook Road Partners

DOUG ROHDE

Engineering
Manager
Google

YOUNG EXECUTIVE BOARD

LOLA
BANJO

MICHAEL
DAVIS

DIANA
DIBERNARDO

MAYOWA
FADINA

EVAN
FAIN

TANYA
KARSOU

BRETT
LACHER

ALLISON
LEIGH

DUSTIN
NEWMAN

OUR HISTORY

Code/Interactive (C/I) was founded in 2001 with the goal of breaking the poverty cycle of inner-city youth by providing positive leadership role models, participation in empowering outdoor leadership experiences, and access to technology training. This unique combination of technology and outdoor learning encouraged the development of self-esteem, built character and taught creative technology skills. Since 2012, C/I has strategically advanced towards an expanded mission of inspiring the next generation of diverse technology leaders in low-income communities. With our enhanced mission in mind, C/I redesigned its curriculum to increase its focus on computer science and entrepreneurship education to better prepare our students for the fast growing technology job market. We found that access to technology is important, but implementing technology skills as a potential career path is more meaningful. Our programs provide our students with hands-on training, opportunities to test and develop their technology skills, meaningful on-the-job experiences, and exposure to innovative workplaces.