About Us

Behind the scenes at Happy Code Club

Our

Our Mission is to empower the next generation of Computer Science teachers and technologists with practical experiences in the classroom as it relates to Coding and Robotics programs in elementary and middle schools.

Meet our amazing team

The faces behind our success

Get to know us more or hire one of us as a private coding instructor

Fernando Alvarenga

Founder

Brittany DeJesus

Co-Founder

Philip De Munck

Co-Founder

Courtney Ferguson

Scheduling Coordinator

Michelina Docimo

Billing and Payroll Manager

Kamalteja Kola

Inventory Manager & Coding Instructor

Sonomi Totsuka

Curriculum Author/Partner

Francis Alvaro

Coding Instructor

Sagar Gulati

Coding Instructor

Yiwei Qi

Coding Instructor

Justin Attai

Coding Instructor

Alberto Llanos

Coding Instructor

Danny Richardson

Coding Instructor

Lori Federico

Coding Instructor

Dylan Brown

Coding Instructor

Matthew Frazzetta

Coding Instructor

Julie Ortiz

Coding Instructor

Alexa Furnari

Coding Instructor

Mica Phan

Coding Instructor

Karenna Geno

Coding Instructor

Staff Biographies

Fernando is passionate about Computer Science. He’s been working in the IT sector and Technology Innovation for over 20 years. He is a graduate of Sacred Heart University earned Business Certificates from the Executive Business School at Tuck University and Programming Certificates from Harvey Mudd College. He works hard to make the experience great for kids by leading innovation projects in Curriculum Development, Fun Programs, Professional Development and more. In his spare time, he likes to Run, Rock Climb, Bike, and Raise Free Range Chickens in his North Stamford Home.

Brittany is currently studying Elementary and Special Education at High Point University in North Carolina. She has been with HappyCode since February 2017. She is very passionate about her work in and out of the classroom. Brittany continues to support HappyCode operations by writing curricula for scratchjr, scratch, ozobots, makey makey, classroom management and other training courses and assessments for Instructors. At High Point University, Brittany is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and a founding member of Lambda Pi Chi’s chapter which is the first Latinx organization of any kind to be established at her campus.

Philip is currently a Senior at Staples High School. He enjoys coding as one of his primary passions, and is delighted when others are interested and want to learn to code. Philip works with students to ensure their understanding of a lesson while also creating a fun and inviting atmosphere. He also works with our trainers to ensure new and existing staff feel comfortable during classes. When he has spare time, Philip enjoys running, rock climbing, and learning languages. He is near-fluent in German.

BioCourtney is currently a work-at-home mom with her baby girl. She holds a Masters of Social Work degree and in her spare time is a volunteer with a camp for local foster children. Courtney is detail-focused and enjoys getting to support the work of Happy Code Club by way of scheduling coordination. In her off time you can find her adventuring in the mountains of Colorado or Utah with her husband, baby, and pup.

BioMichelina brings 20 years of office management experience working with small and start-up businesses, specifically in sustainability related firms. She is the author of Echoes: Listening to the Voices in Spirited Trees, a book that intersects issues of art, environment, politics, and religion through dialogue with local Connecticut individuals building community. She is a 2018 graduate of Parents Seeking Educational Excellence and is an active volunteer in the Stamford public schools. Michelina is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with degrees in English and Landscape Architecture, concentration in agriculture and natural resources.

Kamalteja earned her masters degree in Information Technology as a software developer from central Queensland University (CQU) Australia. She is very much passionate about sharing her knowledge and working with kids. “I'm able to explain to kids in both theoretical and practical examples. Happy code club (HCC) have given a great opportunity as a volunteer to prove myself and to build future generations.” As a web developer she has developed a few websites using different programming languages such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP.

Sonomi earned her BS in Computer Science from Stony Brook University. She previously worked as a developer and QA at several companies. She has volunteered in Stamford public schools teaching business and entrepreneurship to elementary students. She is fluent in Japanese.

Francis is a Coding Instructor at Happy Code Club.

Sagar earned his BS in Computational Biology at the University of Rochester in 2019. During college, he discovered his love for teaching while coaching computer science at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester and as an organic chemistry teaching assistant. He is passionate about helping students learn lifelong skills. In the future, he plans to go to medical school and pursue orthopedic surgery.

Yiwei is pursuing her master’s degree in developmental psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been working children since college, and she is especially interested in integrating art and STEM education. She is passionate about designing meaningful learning experiences for children and hopes to continue doing it at HCC.

Justin is currently a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a major in information technology with a concentration in communication and a minor in Mandarin. He is familiar with coding languages such as python, c++, Java, and html & css. Justin has also participated and reached at least the state level in the national robotics competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, for all four years of his high school career. He’s excited to share his love, passion, and knowledge of STEAM with his students. In his spare time, Justin enjoys playing the saxophone, playing video games, and knitting

Alberto Llanos was born in Quito, Ecuador. Passionate with technology, knowledge and education, he achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechatronic Engineering at Escuela Politécnica del Ejército in Ecuador. Then, in 2013, he got the opportunity to develop a project of an artificial vision module for the Robotic Laboratory of UNICEN in Argentina. Connected with technology, Alberto worked in Halliburton Latin America and Mekinnova, where he got experience with electronic instrumentation, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Python, LabVIEW, PLC, microcontrollers and industrial robots. Currently, combining his passions, he is in the process of getting his teacher certification in Mathematics for middle and high school students. In addition, Alberto works at Stamford Public Schools and Happy Code Club as Instructor, helping others to obtain more knowledge with responsibility and joy.

My name is Danny Richardson; I am 17 years old and an avid electronics hobbyist and tinkerer. I have a deep interest in engineering and wish to pursue that as my career after college. I enjoy crafts such as carpentry, machining, and forging. I work on things such as old computers, robotic arms and prosthetics, and repair old motors. Outside of the workshop, I often bike, hike, and camp in the great outdoors. I take great pride in my works and find pleasure in inspiring awe from teaching, those younger than I, the technical crafts that shape society: such as robotics, coding, and engineering. That satisfaction of changing the youth's future for the better, is the greatest form of gratification.

Lori has a BFA degree from Purchase College where she also studied theater and dance. She also has a Digital Media Certificate from SUNY Westchester Community College as well as completed graduate coursework at Pace University in Childhood Education. Her professional experience includes work in graphic design creating layouts for catalogs, postcards, flyers, banners, business cards and other marketing collateral and promotional banner ads for both print and web. She has instructed children in art at the Katonah Museum of Art and worked in the education department as education associate at Historic Hudson Valley. She is happy to apply her knowledge and experience in art and technology towards creating a lasting and meaningful educational experience.

Hello, my name is Dylan. I grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. After High School I enlisted in the United States Navy, where I got my first experience tutoring students with CSADD, a Navy Volunteer group. After spending four years on board the USS Kauffman I honorably discharging from the service. The reason I left the service was to pursue my higher education, which was why I enrolled at the College of Westchester. While in school I have had the opportunity to study computer programming and networking, working with my peers in the PC Doctor program, in which we repaired computers and phones. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to lead classes and help exercise creative problem solving.

I recently joined the Happy Code Club team September 2019. I am currently attending Uconn Stamford and getting my degree in Computer Science and Engineering. I have experience in several programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, Processing, and Scheme. In the past I have worked as a mentor for disadvantaged children and as a camp counselor. While I do have previous experience working with children, this is my first formal teaching experience. I have been learning a lot and look forward to continue learning as I work with the Happy Code Club team.

Julie is a recent new-hire who teaches some of our remote and in-person classes.

Alexa is currently a junior at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She is pursuing a bachelors degree in Computer Science and a studio art minor. While at school Alexa has used Java, C and C++ to complete coding projects. Alexa has several years experience working with kids at a local day camp. In her free time, Alexa likes to walk her dog, watch movies and join the intramural sports teams at her school.

Mica Phan is a recent Connecticut resident and joined HCC in January 2020. An avid musician, she received her BA in Music in California and has been teaching the classical violin to students of all ages in public school classrooms, private lessons, and youth ensembles since 2013. Mica loves being in the classroom and helping children learn new things. She teaches and assists in some of HCC's in-person classes, and plans to advance her own coding skills. In her spare time, Mica enjoys practicing her various instruments, spending time outdoors, and quilting.

I am currently studying Elementary Education at Central Connecticut State University. I have participated as a Special Olympics volunteer for the past five years and am very passionate about unity in the classroom, as well as hands on learning. I am looking forward to advancing my coding skills and seeing what the students are capable of! During my free time I enjoy getting outside and hiking whenever I can get the chance. I also work with Healing Meals, a Nonprofit organization that works with youth volunteers to provide meals to families going through a health crisis. In the future I plan to get my master’s degree in Special Education and continue to inspire children to be critical thinkers and enjoy learning throughout their lives.

Happy Coding with Brittany-

Game Design with Scratch Jr.

Grades: 3-5

Introduction to programming with Scratch will show you around the interface and have you making a fun project in minutes. This easy to learn program is super fun as it allows you to create artistic characters, scenes, and objects and animate them with computer code.
If you are curious about what coding is or simply want to try something new, this is a fun class to try. See why millions of students from around the world are sharing their awesome creations on the Scratch platform. The creations students make range from Stories, Games, animations, music and more! Get your creativity hats on and come and check this out!

Technology Requirements: Chromebooks or PC or Mac with wifi and a two button mouse recommended.

Links to class tools used Scratch Zoom Client installation

Prerequisites: No previous experience necessary. Ability to use a two button mouse; ability to hold objects on the screen and move them with left mouse button and keyboarding isrecommended.

Happy Coding with Fernando-

Intro to Game Design in Scratch

Grades: 3-5

Introduction to programming with Scratch will show you around the interface and have you making a fun project in minutes. This easy to learn program is super fun as it allows you to create artistic characters, scenes, and objects and animate them with computer code.
If you are curious about what coding is or simply want to try something new, this is a fun class to try. See why millions of students from around the world are sharing their awesome creations on the Scratch platform. The creations students make range from Stories, Games, animations, music and more! Get your creativity hats on and come and check this out!
Technology Requirements: Chromebooks or PC or Mac with wifi and a two button mouse recommended. Links to class tools used Scratch Zoom Client installation
Prerequisites: No previous experience necessary. Ability to use a two button mouse; ability to hold objects on the screen and move them with left mouse button and keyboarding is recommended.

Happy Coding

Winter Dates: Nov 30 – Jan 28

This winter join students from other schools in a zoom class that you can take from your school or home.
This after school club is free for public schools classrooms Grades 3-5 and it will be run for 6-8 weeks in Winter and Spring of 2021 Taught by Happy Code Club teachers with experience in various subjects including Scratch, Python, codehs.com, code.org, Robotics and more.
Winter Dates: Nov 30 – Jan 28