We thrive on inspiring and motivating kids by teaching them about the fun of building. We love the idea of learning and coming together through making things. We believe in the DIT—do it together— mentality and the importance of building a community around this common goal.
We strive to make an environment that is educational, community based and most of all fun!
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 – 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.
Brian – Tribeca Location Manager
Brian is a theater artist, musician, and creative producer. He is a co-founder of Rady&Bloom Collective Playmaking, an interdisciplinary theater company creating new music plays in New York. Brian received a BFA in Theater and Creative Writing at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. Brian is bringing the Foundry closer to under-served communities, building on the company’s environmental sustainability, and spearheading the Women in Tech series. He is also manages the Tribeca Location and directs the classroom with ease and panache. He enjoys macrobiotic cooking, sewing, drawing, writing, putting stuff together, and making trips to Materials for the Arts.
Patti – South Slope Location Manager & Robot Designer
Patti Gilstrap holds a BFA in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She moved to NY in 1999 to pursue her dream of being a professional dancer and costume designer. 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 looks forward to adding to her hat collection for many years to come. 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 – UES Location Manager
Ray is originally from Los Angeles and a recent graduate from SVA. 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.
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.
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.
Terra – Workshop Assistant
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.
Raisha- Afterschool Coordinator, Event Manager & Graphics
Raisha is our spreadsheet extraordinaire- she can crunch data and register children for all of our programs with the best of them! As an Assistant Teacher, Raisha enjoys encouraging children to explore their creativity and gluing pom poms everywhere. She graduated from School of Visual Arts with a degree in Illustration. In her free time, Raisha likes to showcase her designs at craft fairs and take naps.
Josh – Lead Teacher
Joshua is a writer and video maker originally from Indianapolis, IN. They recently joined the BRF team, and feel energized by working with kids in an artistic environment. Joshua loves working at the Foundry because they enjoy being a part of an environment that empowers kids with social and technological knowledge.
Irma – Staff Teacher & Customer Service Lead
Irma is our head of customer service with a warm, friendly attitude to help you find the right party package, answer your afterschool questions, and guide you to the right program for your kid! Irma enjoys working with kids from our Super Tiny to our Afterschool programs and enjoys living in Brooklyn. Irma is currently finishing an undergraduate degree in biology.
Blake – Staff Teacher & Offsite Location 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.
Yasmin – Staff Teacher & Customer Service
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. Never being involved in tech before Robot Foundry, 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!
Kevin – Staff Teacher
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.
Julian – Assistant 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.
Travis – Assistant Teacher
Travis is a senior at the New York City College of Technology studying 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 once had a poem published in 6th grade.
Valerie – Assistant Teacher & Master Builder
Valerie grew up in Great Neck, Long Island and moved to Manhattan 3 years ago. She went to NYIT to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She’s built robots since 2007 and has experience with projects both small and large. She started with her high schools’ FIRST Robotics Team (which she later mentored), and continued through college. She also taught robotics as an after school program to a middle school classroom. Valerie found a great home at the Brooklyn Robot Foundry because it combines her love of engineering and her joy of working with children.