{2017 Cohorts}

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Lizette Mendoza

Lead Instructor

Lizette Mendoza, one of six females in a class of 32 students, graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science. Involved in a full-time dual enrollment program, College Academy (CA), her final two years of high school, she graduated with a high school diploma and Associate of Arts Degree at age 18, and completed her academic career at the age of 21. She first discovered her interest programming from her father, and in Computer Science when she enrolled in her first programming course at College Academy.

In addition to programming, Lizette also has a passion for teaching. Wishing she had learned about programming at a younger age, she enjoys the opportunity she has been afforded to work with these girls to teach them a new skill that will be of great benefit to their future.

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Alejandrina Gonzalez

Lead Instructor

Alejandrina Gonzalez Reyes is currently a student at Stanford University (Class of 2020) studying Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction. She is a self-taught iOS app developer. At 17 years old, she was invited by Apple to meet CEO Tim Cook. Before turning 18, she had already published 7 apps on the Apple App Store. She won the Miami Herald Silver Knight Award 2016 and has been recognized by Apple, Congress, and other companies several times. 


{Our Founders}

Josie Goytisolo

Founder & CEO

Josie is a successful Television News Executive and Entrepreneur whose career spans three decades. As a senior level executive, Josie managed and grew news organizations at the local, station group and network level from the bottom up to become leading news division in individual markets. 

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Helen Aguirre Ferr

Founder

Helen is the daily host of a national Spanish language radio program, "Zona Politica con Helen Aguirre" on Univision America radio, weekly columnist for The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald and host of a weekend public affairs show "Issues" for WPBT2 a south Florida PBS affiliate. She is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees Miami Dade College.

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Professor Sanja Zivanovic

Head of Curriculum at CODELLA /Assistant Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Sanja is the Assistant Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department at Barry University. She received her MS and PhD in mathematics at the University of Miami, and she received her BS in mathematics and computer science from Barry University. Her areas of interest include dynamical systems, differential equations, and numerical analysis.


{Student Founders}

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Maia Suazo-Maler

Student Founder

An incoming freshman at Harvard, Maia has been working with CODeLLA since it's inception in 2013, while still in high school. She has taken several computer and coding courses at her school as well as at Johns Hopkins. Maia has also founded, presided as president, and participated in several community service projects during this time; including her high school’s annual Day of Service, and developed an online tutoring website on behalf of Mu Alpha Theta for her high school. 

As weighted valedictorian of her class, she was also the youngest member ever at her school to be inducted into the Math National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society as a freshman, and was subsequently inducted into the National Honor Society as well. Among being a member and holding leadership positions in other clubs and boards, including the Women’s Fund Junior Board, she is an AP Scholar with Distinction, the recipient of the Red Cross Youth Spectrum Award, Silver Knight Honorable Mention for General Scholarship, Rensselaer Polytechnic Medal Award, Dartmouth Book Award, and Senior Math Book Award among others. In addition to Harvard, Maia had the blessing of being accepted to all of the colleges she applied to: Brown, MIT, Stanford, Wharton at UPenn, and Yale. 

Aside from academics and community service, Maia was the co-captain of her Varsity Softball Team and held several positions, ending as Executive Vice President, throughout her seven years on Student Government. Passionate about computer science, entrepreneurship, and helping others, she plans on continuing her work with CODeLLA throughout her time in college.

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Rory Cosio

Student Founder

Aurora Cosio is a high school student at Carrollton School of the Sacred heart in Coconut Grove, “Rory" as she is known is a co-founder of Codella, the first immersive coding and technology entrepreneurship camp for young Latina girls in the US ages 9-13 from families below the poverty level. Rory has helped spearhead the growth of CODeLLA into a year-round coding academy that teaches STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts,and ,math) as well as computer literacy and tech entrepreneurship. She is taking computer science courses during high school and plans to continue these courses throughout college and take her place in the tech job market after finishing college.  Rory was a 2015 ABC Summer of Creativity Grant winner.

Rory is also a member of the National Junior Honor Society and an active participant in Carrollton’s annual Medical Student’s in Action (“MSA”) mission to the Dominican Republic. For the last two years Rory has served as a Spanish translator for MSA and has spearheaded a campaign to build houses for MSA's neediest patients. An avid soccer player she was recently awarded her school’s junior varsity soccer team’s MVP (most valuable player) award. Some of her academic interests include computer programming and coding. Aside from school and sports she is a dedicated photographer and her work was recently showcased at the Museum of Coral Gables’ Capture the Gables exhibit.

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Sofia Cosio

Student Founder and Advisor for Start Up Latina

Sofia is a junior at Babson College, and one of only twenty women selected as a four year Center for Womens’ Entrepreneurial Leadership Scholar. She served as one of two female Student Council representatives freshman year and has just finished a study abroad program in Russia, China and India. Currently Sofia is perusing a concentration in Entrepreneurship, Finance and IT at Babson. Since the summer of 2013 she has participated as a visiting teacher’s assistant at two cohorts of CODeLLA’s summer immersion tech and entrepreneurship camp for underrepresented Latina girls. Last summer, Sofia participated in the first 300+ hour CODeLLA summer immersion camp teaching a 3 day entrepreneurship workshop which consisted of introducing the girls to the lean start up concept and, understanding of how to create an investor or pantry deck for a business. The key concepts she hoped to instill in the CODeLLA students was the understanding that we are living in a time of life long learning, where problem solving is a key skillset, as is the ability to work collaboratively and utilize critical thinking to develop successful outcomes to problems. The five teams of girls presented a viable mobile app and their start up ideas at their graduation ceremony at Miami Dade College’s Idea Center.

Sofia is currently a College Student Founder and advisor of Startup Latina College Edition: a global technology entrepreneurship program created for Latina girls. Her goal is to help Latina college students identify and solve problems in their local community by developing mobile apps and help them to develop the skills necessary to become entrepreneurs. The students will collaborate with local and long distance mentors to research design and code their mobile aps so they are ready to pitch prospective investors.


{Advisory Board}

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Ana M. Carbonell

Anuca Valverde, President of Marketing Cervera Real Estate, is one of South Florida’s most experienced and knowledgeable real estate marketing professionals. Her expertise extends from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and other aspects of the “new media” to direct marketing programs and traditional print, broadcast, and outdoor media. She understands how to guide organizations in developing effective strategic marketing plans and she knows how to reach consumers, influence behaviors and deliver positive returns on marketing investments.

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Anuca Valverde

Anuca Valverde, President of Marketing Cervera Real Estate, is one of South Florida’s most experienced and knowledgeable real estate marketing professionals. Her expertise extends from Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and other aspects of the “new media” to direct marketing programs and traditional print, broadcast, and outdoor media. She understands how to guide organizations in developing effective strategic marketing plans and she knows how to reach consumers, influence behaviors and deliver positive returns on marketing investments.

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Mary Ann Halford

For over 20 years, Mary Ann Halford has been actively building businesses in the media and entertainment industry. She is currently a Managing Director in their Telecommunications, Media and Technology practice based in London, England.

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Maria Teresa Valle

In 2006, Maria Teresa started working at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart until now, teaching 1st through 8th grades Computational Science, Engineering, Coding and Robotics. She started the First Lego League robotics team, hosted 4 tournaments, took 3 teams to State Championships. Also, she started the Afterschool Robotics and Codingprograms/curriculum for grades 1-8.

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Juan Franco

CEO & Co-Founder of PayMentez, the largest monetization platform for micro transactions in Latin America.

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Madelyn Rodriguez-Llanes

Madelyn is the Director of the Centro Mater Child Care Center. She is responsible for the operation of a child care and after school program serving more than 500 children on a daily basis.

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Cristy Charters

Cristy is a National Board Certified Teacher of Computer Science, with over 14 years of experience teaching computer science at the high school level and over 3 years of experience teaching at Florida International University (FIU). Cristy graduated with a computer science degree from FIU and worked as a computer programmer/analyst for Florida Power and Light Company for 15 years. It is her goal to help promote computer science to the elementary school age children of Miami, Florida, until it becomes part of their core curriculum!