Inspiring and empowering girls, transgender, and gender nonconforming youth to pursue careers in technology
Gender equality in the technology industry.
App Camp For Girls seeks to address the gender imbalance in technology professions by inspiring middle-school age girls, transgender, and gender nonconforming youth with a broad introduction to the process of app development, from brainstorming and designing ideas to building and pitching their apps. We believe that the experience of creating an app that runs on a device in one week can spark the enthusiasm that will propel our developers to pursue further tech education.
In addition, App Camp For Girls is a place for women, transgender, and gender nonconforming adults in the tech community to come together, network, and provide mutual support in their endeavors to advance in the field of software development. We encourage and support our volunteers to continue their own education in programming and design.
The inaugural season of App Camp for Girls took place in Summer 2013 in Portland, Oregon. We have held sessions in Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Phoenix, Orange County, Minneapolis, and Vancouver, BC. We've worked with over 250 aspiring developers and over 80 mentor volunteers in over the last five summers! Check out Four Summers In One Minute for a quick look at our first years.
App Camp For Girls is the brainchild of founder Jean MacDonald, former partner at Smile, a well-known company in the Mac and iOS developer community. Currently she devotes her energies to Micro.blog, an independent ad-free short-form blogging platform and social network. She got her start in the tech industry as freelance web designer and instructor, including teaching stints at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Geekcorps in Ghana, and the U.S. State Department in Armenia.
Jean is an alumna of Big Nerd Ranch, where she took the Beginning iOS Bootcamp intensive course to prepare for App Camp For Girls. Jean has been an active participant and supporter of the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, which is the source of her inspiration for App Camp.
Grey Osten, Co-founder, is responsible for creating the curriculum and codebase used at camp. By day, Grey works at Smile as an iOS Developer. Prior to that, Grey's journey as an iOS developer began in 2010 when close friend and founder of Fish Hook, Evan Delaney, took Grey under his wing. Grey's existing background in computer repair, customer service, and a bachelor's in fine art turned out to be the perfect foundation for learning to build iOS applications. As a self taught developer, Grey believes that teaching is just as important as doing. Grey usually spends downtime hiking with Wendall the Wonder Dog.
Follow Grey on Twitter.
Michelle Panulla has worked for close to 20 years in Information Technology, focusing the last nine on WordPress development. Michelle served as a Project Team Manager for App Camp for Girls for three years before becoming Portland’s Co-Organizer in 2017. She holds a degree in Music Education, enjoys singing in a rock band, volunteering with youth and animals, and indulging in too much coffee on a regular basis.
Aleen Simms solidified her passion for inclusivity and diversity in tech when she created a podcast with the mission of pursuing equality in geekdom in 2014. The show led to her involvement with App Camp after interviewing co-founder Jean MacDonald. Aleen became an avid volunteer, including managing teams in Portland, organizing camps in Phoenix, and fundraising. She has a degree in technical communication, enjoys podcasting, reading, writing, and playing Splatoon.
Board of Directors
Peggy MacDonald is a mobile apps product manager, currently at Home Depot. Prior to that, she worked at eBay, Critical Path, and Inspiration Software. She has worked in the tech industry for over 25 years, and was a founder at startups PrintPaks and Blue Lake Children's Publishing.
Pam Madaus is employed as the Finance Manager of the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center. Prior to joining the museum staff, Pam held several non-profit, government and industry management positions, including Executive Director, Reach Out and Read Kansas City and Manhattan Area Habitat for Humanity; Intra-Corporate International Monetary & Finance Process Manager, Agilent Technologies; Business Manager, Toll Brothers Luxury Home Builders; and Assistant Business Manager, Kansas State University Department of Facilities. She has also served on the Boards of the Friends of Lincoln, West Sylvan Middle School Foundation, Manhattan Area Habitat for Humanity & Clear Creek Elementary PTA. Pam graduated from the University of Kansas, is married and has a daughter who is a senior at Lincoln High School.
Katharine’s passion is for leveraging technology to expand human connections and for advocating for a more inclusive and diverse environment in STEM. Starting with her undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, to her MBA from the University of Oxford, this passion has played a central role throughout her 20-year career. An innovator at heart, Katharine has focused on working with companies that value and support human connections, including Ancestry.com, AAA, and Ruby Receptionists, where she currently serves as Chief Product & Technology Officer.
Justin Miller is a tech startup veteran with twenty years in the industry as a software developer and system administrator, including fifteen years with Apple technologies. He volunteered at the inaugural App Camp in 2013 as a photographer alongside his wife Michelle Petruzzi, who went on to become App Camp’s founding operations director. Since Michelle’s death in 2016, Justin has been committed to helping App Camp as well as furthering advocacy efforts with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and other organizations. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, photography, travel, and working on and camping in his vintage VW van.
Angel has spent over a decade in the digital marketing space serving as a marketer, project manager, and consultant. She is currently a strategic consultant with Lytics.
In addition to working with several international B2C and B2B organizations, she's proud of being able to assist small businesses, agency partners, and non-profits with their digital marketing strategies, including Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest and Animal Aid.
Angel knows enough of [insert programming language here] to be dangerous and considers Cannon Beach her happy place.