Our Team

Mina Shokoufandeh

Co-President and Founder

Mina Shokoufandeh is a sophomore at Tufts University in Medford, MA studying biology and biomedical sciences. As a junior in high school, Mina enjoyed learning about Software Engineering, particularly about its many applications in the biological context. Mina is very enthusiastic about fostering an appreciation for STEM and its opportunities among young women and girls and enjoys connecting this passion with her love of the medical, engineering, and biological mindsets. These passions led her to found Girls Code the World with her peer, Sydney Gibbard when they were juniors in high school. Mina is currently a Continuing Life Resident Assistant at Tufts, a role in which she supports students in both their personal and academic pursuits. She is also a Mentor for Science Club for Girls in the Medford/Somerville area, an organization that fosters confidence and literacy in STEM for girls and young women from underrepresented communities with free, experiential community-based programs. In the past, Mina has also worked as a Volunteer Research Assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Autism Research and an Intern at Drexel University’s Center for Functional Fabrics. She is thrilled to be a part of the Girls Code the World team and to contribute to the organization’s ultimate goal of getting more women involved with STEM from a young age.

Email me: mina@girlscodetheworld.org

Sydney Gibbard

Co-President and Founder

Sydney Gibbard is a sophomore at Penn State Schreyer Honors College studying biomedical engineering and pre-medicine. When she was a junior in high school, Sydney fell in love with her AP Computer Science class and the methodical approach to solving a problem. Sydney is incredibly passionate about the intersection of science, medicine, technology, and engineering, which is why she felt inspired to found Girls Code the World with her peer, Mina Shokoufandeh. She wanted to encourage girls to develop a passion for and confidence in engineering, computer science, and science at a young age. Sydney also saw a need for attainable mentors and role models, not just professionals in the field, but also high school and college students which was the basis for developing the Aspire Program. Sydney is currently the sole College of Engineering Representative for Penn State’s student government, where she consistently advocates for underrepresented communities to administration. She has also taken part in a Malawi Refugee Crisis Research Project funded by MasterCard to identify barriers and enablers for youth to gaining economic opportunities, and through this research, has realized that a proficiency in technology opens an endless amount of doors for students all over the world. She is incredibly excited and grateful to be a part of Girls Code the Word and to continue pushing their mission forward everyday.

Email me: sydney@girlscodetheworld.org

Katie Galaska

Director of Finances and Accounting

Katie Galaska is an audit and accounting manager with Kreischer Miller, a public accounting firm located in Horsham, Pennsylvania, specializing in not-for-profit organizations and manufacturing companies. As part of her MBA capstone project, she was instrumental in the founding of Kreischer Miller’s RISE (Retain | Invest | Support | Empower), a comprehensive program for women that provides them with opportunities to connect as a team, learn from one another, and grow their careers. Katie is thrilled to be part of the Girls Code the World organization as she is passionate about encouraging girls and women to build their confidence, get excited about their futures and to expand the skills needed in STEM fields including critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. As the daughter of lifelong learners, she was raised doing math problems at restaurants while other kids were coloring which gave her the faith in herself to pursue any type of career, especially one using math on a daily basis! Katie currently lives in Souderton, Pennsylvania with her husband and son.

Marie Fazio

Director of Partnerships

Kristen Aballa

Director of Curriculum

Isabella Webster

Director of Mentorship


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