Promoting gender equity in technology by empowering youth through accessible education, community, and mentorship.
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 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 girls to pursue further tech education.
In addition, App Camp For Girls is a place for women 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. In 2017, we will hold sessions in Portland, Seattle, Phoenix and Chicago. We've worked with 176 aspiring developers and over 60 mentor volunteers in over the last four summers! Check out Four Summers In One Minute to see them all.
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. She worked there for 9 years, developing marketing plans, managing public relations and nurturing the Smile customer community. Prior to Smile, she was sole proprietor of Well-Tempered Web, a website design and online marketing consultancy.
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.
Follow Jean on Twitter.
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.
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Born and raised in central Ohio, Sarah is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and a dedicated Buckeyes fan. Several decades ago she moved to Portland to enjoy the many bounties of the region especially any activity that gets her outside. She brings to App Camp for Girls nearly thirty years of experience in the non-profit and political field. Most recently she spent six years with Street Roots - an award winning newspaper sold by low income and homeless people in the Portland metro area. Her time there was during a period of expansion that included transitioning from biweekly to weekly publication of the newspaper. Sarah currently lives in North Portland with her two ambitious daughters (a sophomore at Jefferson High School and sixth grader at Ockley Green Middle School), two overly friendly dogs and a standoffish bearded dragon.
Sarah is excited to be part of the App Camp for Girls team. She loves connecting with people especially to scheme about collaborations
Board of Directors
Jen Patterson is a native Oregonian who grew up just steps from the Sandy River. When she isn't busy gardening and playing house, Jen is a mental health counselor who helps people healing from psychosis. Most important she is mom to two brilliant kids including one App Camp For Girls graduate!
Pam Madaus is employed as the Business Manager of the Washington County Museum. 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 currently serves on the Boards of Directors of App Camp 4 Girls and the Friends of Lincoln High School. She has also served on the Boards of the 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 sophomore 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.
app camp portland
Danielle Kulczyk (Portland camp organizer) is Project Management Lead at OMBU, a website development firm in Portland. She is tasked with guiding products from ideation through launch, and manages OMBU’s team of product owners.As a project team manager in Portland for summer 2015, Danielle enjoyed helping the young developers through the same process. Prior to OMBU, Danielle worked on the web team at Metro, and her background includes a degree in organizational psychology and time working on student newspapers at Portland State University. In her spare time she enjoys planning parties and game nights.
Diana Zmuda (Camp Lead Developer) is an iOS developer at thoughtbot. After graduating with a degree in Math and Economics, she decided to take a hard right turn into the world of app development. Once she finished App Academy's inaugural session in San Francisco, she did an iOS apprenticeship and is now building mobile apps for startups at thoughtbot. She co-wrote a book, iOS on Rails, and is currently having a blast with the new hottest language, Swift.
Momoko Saunders (Special Projects Organizer) is an software engineer at Fish Hook. She volunteered as a project team manager at three sessions of App Camp in 2013 and 2014, and is one of the original "beta" camp volunteers. While she has been working in software since 2010, her involvement with AC4G spurred a self-education in mobile development that has her now coding new features and squashing bugs. As an avid cyclist and advocate for bicycles, she also volunteers at a Portland bike collective, Bike Farm, a space that teaches people how to fix their bikes.
APP CAMP SEATTLE
Lesley Baker (Seattle lead developer) is an iOS developer who currently splits time between building apps and watching (chasing) her two young children. After graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of Washington, she spent the next 10+ years working at companies ranging from start-up to established. She made the switch from web development to iOS development in 2014 after completing a certificate program with the UW. She currently works for her own company building apps for kids. She loves teaching at App Camp for Girls and sharing how delightful it can be to code.
Kristina Sontag is the Software Test Manager at The Omni Group, a 20-year software industry veteran and is a Seattle camp organizer (2014 & 2015) as well as a Portland 2013 volunteer. In addition to gleefully contributing to Omni's software quality, she knits, supports her local soccer teams and explores the Pacific Northwest with her son.
Liz Marley, Seattle organizer 2014 & 2015 and Portland 2013 volunteer, started her career as a software tester. She is currently a product manager at The Omni Group, crafting productivity software for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Virginia Roberts is the MC for App Camp Seattle. She's an online dating coach turned Program Manager at Microsoft, and she loves geeking out about everything from line height to hashtags to batch scripts. She learns a little more about making apps each year with App Camp, and can't wait to someday ship her own indie app to help people take more flattering selfies!
Tricia Cervenan is a co-organizer for App Camp Seattle. She’s a product manager at L4 Digital and part-time instructor at General Assembly. Tricia has shipped over 15 digital products and is most proud of the teams she’s help to build while doing so. When she’s not building software or working with those new to the industry, Tricia finds joy in long distance cycling, world travel and a good cup of coffee.
app camp Chicago
Jessi lives at the intersection of education, innovation, and technology: an early adopter, as a classroom teacher, she built her own classroom website before the age of LMSs and as a online learning leader, she’s helped institutions bring digital and distance learning to life.
She’s taught high school English and college courses, developed higher ed curriculum used by 19 campuses, built competency-based graduate programs, and created robust professional development for educators. Jessi pulls this all together to make Uncharted Learning the leader in authentic learning experiences and teacher professional development. She also has developed programs that empower teachers with the proper supports, tools, and skills to grow in their profession.
Married to David Chartier, a tech distiller and friend of the development world, she spends her free time scheming ways to improve the education space, offering professional development to teachers of all walks of life, and communing with innovators across many fields.
Laura Savino is an iOS developer with a penchant for languages, travel, and education. She's worked on all sorts of client apps through mobile agencies, and most recently built apps to transform students' learning at Khan Academy. In between conference speaking and training, she codes independently in Seattle.
App Camp Phoenix
Aleen Simms is co-organizer of App Camp for Girls in Phoenix, Arizona. She has a diverse background with experience in writing, editing, design, press relations, software development, and consulting. Her podcast, Less Than Or Equal, is focused on pursuing equality in geekdom by celebrating the diverse and their accomplishments. She currently works as a writer, editor, and does media outreach for a software development company in addition to her duties as a lounging spot for her two cats.
Shayla Sawchenko is a senior mobile developer at Two Tall Totems in Vancouver, working on multiple projects of varying sizes. She has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Simon Fraser University, with ten years of experience developing both web and native mobile applications. She loves how software development is a mix of structure, theory and creativity. Outside of work she loves hanging out with friends, going skiing when she can, and tries her best to keep up on her "Lego a day" photography project. Shayla is excited to be part of the first Canadian AC4G.
Yasmine Evjen is co-organizer of App Camp for Girls in Phoenix, Arizona. A UX designer and developer, she believes in pen before pixel, user testing, and research. She can be found advocating for diversity in tech, using code and design to solve problems, and explaining to her daughter that Google isn't a real person. She's hooked on mobile and wearables; you can hear her talk about them on Material Podcast, a weekly show about Google and Android on Relay FM. She was once retweeted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Leslie Rudder, a self-educated iOS developer, is co-organizer of Phoenix App Camp for Girls. She is a bachelor prepared nurse with many years experience in Neonatal Intensive Care. She is currently homeschooling her daughters, who love being involved with STEAM opportunities.
Christina Carrasquilla is co-organizer of App Camp for Girls Phoenix, Arizona. She is a lecturer for the Graphic Information Technology program in the Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Her areas of interest are graphic design, cross-media design, web design and web development, and social media. Clean, semantic code and user-centered design are a few of her favorite things. While she is very proud of her tech savvy children, she is also tired of constantly changing her iPhone password.