Bios

Our team of teachers and staff come from diverse backgrounds but all share our mission to inspire and motivate kids by teaching them about the fun of building. Most of our teachers are accomplished artists, educators, designers, and programmers who have dedicated their lives to building and creating, and strive to share that fun with all our students. Our entire team works together to create new projects and improve existing robots, so we can feature new curricula each semester.

Please contact us if you would like additional information. We are always excited and happy to talk about our ideas and our company!

Jenny Young – Founder & Owner

Jenny has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. She grew up working alongside her father in his garage shop and doing projects with her mother. From an early age she was exposed to the joys of building and designing things from found items. She also has a special place in her heart for teaching girls about the coolness of math and science. She lives in a 450 ft2 apartment in Manhattan with her incredible husband, little girl and baby boy. As her parents always told her growing up, “You can be whatever you want to be in life!” She lives by this philosophy and hopes to inspire it in others.

Hope – Atlantic Location Manager, Party Coordinator

Hope is one of our awesome lead teachers. She has an undergraduate degree in Education from San Francisco State and a Masters degree in Education (specializing in Special Education) from Brooklyn College. She is fluent in English, Tagalog and Dutch. Kids absolutely love her and she has a magical aura about her that makes kids behave beautifully in her presence.

Josh – Tribeca Location Manager, Tiny Builders Creative Director

 Josh is a writer and video maker originally from Indianapolis, IN. They feel energized by working with kids in an artistic environment.  Josh loves working at the Foundry because they enjoy being a part of an environment that empowers kids with social and technological knowledge.  

Patti – South Slope Location Manager

Patti Gilstrap holds a BFA in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since that time she has found herself in one creative adventure after another. Some of the hats she has worn consist of:  puppeteer, wardrobe supervisor, boutique owner, pattern maker, clothing designer, sewing teacher, set designer, choreographer, puppet designer, dancer,  costume designer, interior decorator and author. She loves to encourage all forms of creativity and is always up for a creative challenge. She still runs her own company on the side and you can check it out at www.flirt-brooklyn.com where they can help you with all things sewing related.

Raymond – Upper East Side Location Manager

Ray is originally from Los Angeles and a recent graduate from School of Visual Arts.  His hobbies are painting, reading, drinking coffee that tastes like dirt water, and watching the Food Network.  His favorite part of working at the Foundry is seeing the creativity that the kids bring to the classroom.

Blake – Offsite Events Manager

Blake is a video editor/illustrator originally from Miami, FL. In her free time, Blake enjoys doodling, biking, reading and dressing like a cat. Her life motto is ‘Be Silly’ and loves seeing kids being effortlessly silly.

Jake – Lead Designer

Jake is the Foundry’s robot-builder-extraordinaire. The brains behind some of our most exciting and advanced projects, he inspires kids and teachers alike to take their robots to the next level. He holds a BA in studio art from Bard College, and likes to spend his free time tinkering, fixing things, gardening, and building his own lamps. Fun fact: Jake grew up on sculpture park in upstate NY.

Kevin – Lead Teacher & Customer Service

Kevin is from New York City and graduated from Bard College in 2016 with a BA in Literature. In his free time, he enjoys reading, listening to music, and hanging out with his cats. At the Robot Foundry, Kevin enjoys helping kids find their creative voices, and working with them to overcome their robot building challenges. He is constantly inspired by the inventiveness of both the kids and his peers at the Robot Foundry.

Casey – Lead Teacher

Casey is a sculptor from New York who graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She likes to spend her time making art in her Brooklyn studio. When she’s not at the Robot Foundry or teaching art classes, she likes to read, knit, do yoga, cook, and hang out with her rabbit. She enjoys working with kids because she loves helping them tap into their inner artist, and they inspire her to be more creative as well. You can see some of her art at  https://caseylinart.com/sculpture

Bee – Staff Teacher

Bee is a transplant from the Wild West and has been living in Brooklyn for 4 years. With a B.F.A. in Sculpture, they have worked on hundreds of public art pieces and museum pieces all over the world. Their favorite one is the Hello Kitty fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower. Along with teaching, Bee has started their own business as a Handygal and also installs window displays for major designers.

Brittney – Staff Teacher

Fun info about Brittney coming soon!

Gianna – Staff Teacher

Gianna is a friendly and upbeat Brooklyn native who is always up for a chat! She is no stranger to travel, but always finds her way back to Brooklyn because there’s no place like home. She is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and has a passion for working with children and being creative, which makes BRF her perfect job! In her spare time she loves cooking, baking, crafting, and watching the latest Marvel movie.

Grace – Staff Teacher

Stay tuned for more!

Irma – Staff Teacher

Irma enjoys working with kids of all ages, as well as helping out behind the scenes at the Foundry. Irma is currently working towards a degree in forensic science.

Julian – Staff Teacher

Julian is an aspiring toymaker who loved to tinker and work with 3D printers. He enjoys working with kids because they are the future.

Kyle – Staff Teacher

Kyle is in his final year at Syracuse University, where he is pursuing a degree in Inclusive Special and Elementary education. His favorite part about working with kids is how they bring so much energy and excitement into the class. Born and raised in the concrete jungle of NYC, he has a tremendous appreciation for nature, and some of his hobbies include biking in various parks, walking along the boardwalk, and hiking through trails. 

Travis – Staff Teacher

Travis is a recent graduate of the New York City College of Technology, where he studied computer science. He loves working with kids and learning how they think and interact with technology, programming, and coding. He enjoys basketball, R&B, hip-hop, and pop music. He had a poem published in 6th grade.

Veronica – Staff Teacher

Veronica is a graphic designer originally from Miami, Florida. She has a BA in Digital Media and is interested in anything that combines art and tech! In her spare time she enjoys thrifting for treasures, purposefully wandering around the city, and listening to disco music. Veronica’s favorite thing about working with kids is that they instinctually think outside the box. She likes to encourage them to be creative and add their own unique style to the design of their robots.


Yasmin – Staff Teacher

Yasmin (aka Yaz) is a performing artist who trained at AMDA College and Conservatory. She is passionate about music, dogs, makeup artistry, Thai food and education! Yaz is eager to learn something everyday and share whatever she learns with the world, especially children. She aims to be an example for young girls, especially those of color, and to help provide opportunities for those without as many while at Robot Foundry!

Brittney D. – Customer Service

Brittney is our head of customer service. With a warm, friendly attitude she can answer all of your question and guide you to the right program for your kid! Brittney is a life-long New Yorker and the mom to a creative 7 year old. She is currently working toward her degree in Psychology.

Leigh – Marketing & Events

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied neither marketing nor events. But she did learn to make a mean Excel spreadsheet. After many years producing TV commercials, Leigh has brought her organization skills to the Robot Foundry, where she keeps track of all of our classes, events, parties and clubs and makes sure there are always amazing teachers there to run them! Leigh is the mom to two robot-making girls and one robot-eating dog.

Moein – Production Supervisor

Moein is our production supervisor, working tirelessly to prep our robot kits. Moein is a working artist whose art was recently featured on Governor’s Island and is also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt teaching UG Communications Design.

 Terra – Workshop Assistant & Assistant Teacher

Terra graduated with an MFA in studio art from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and enjoys working with children because she is a big gosh darn goof. She enjoys encountering diverse art and making practices in the City. She loves karaoke and sunflowers and can play the ukulele.

 Mike – Robot Deliveries

Mike is our amazing head of robot deliveries! Catch him zooming around in a small car with crates and crates of robot parts.