Karen Abrams – President & CEO
Karen has had a multifaceted technical and Entrepreneurial Management career with a track record of innovation and success. After graduating from Howard University with a BBA degree in Business Administration and California State University at San Francisco with an MBA degree in Marketing, Ms. Abrams began a career with a large tech company in the US and quickly became an innovative IT Management Executive with an outstanding background leading multiple cross-functional departments and project teams concurrently. She is skilled at designing and deploying cutting-edge IT solutions.
Ms Abrams has a track record of building a business from the ground-up, managing, and restructuring nationwide voice/data networks and she possesses strong technical and leadership skills, with proven experience managing both technical and non-technical teams. She ended her corporate career November 2007 as Director of Operations responsible for Network Fraud and Abuse, Applications development, Project Management, and IT Risk Management.
Marlene Henderson – Vice President, Marketing
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Marlena is a dynamic results driven professional who has experience working with K-12 schools, private universities, non-profits and private companies in the areas of strategic planning, marketing, curriculum building, and policy drafting.
She has a passion for working with organizations that think and act critically to reform the implications of structural inequity and provide social and economic empowerment opportunities for traditionally marginalized groups.
In addition, she is a writer, speaker and advocate for re-imagining systems of healing and justice. She brings a unique perspective to many of the systems failures and opportunities.
Ima Christian – Vice President, Business Development
Ima, studied Science, Technology and Society with a focus on Innovation and Organization at Stanford University ’21. She served as an Investment Partner with the Venture Capital firm Dorm Room Fund, where she met with student entrepreneurs and made investment decisions. Ima is a co-founder of STEMGuyana, the fastest growing STEM program for children in the Caribbean and she was also one of the creative minds behind the development of the nationally accredited policing rating and review app, FIVE-O.
Asha T. Christian – Chief Technology Officer
Asha is very passionate about using technology to solve the problems that effect underrepresented and underserved communities. In 2015, she co-founded Pinetart Inc., an app development company that specializes in building apps for social good. Asha and her siblings are most well known for creating the internationally acclaimed mobile police rating app, Five-0, which has been featured in Forbes, CNN, Washington Post, Business Insider, Buzzfeed, the Google Developer Conference, and more.
Asha is driven by her belief that one of the best ways to solve global problems is to put technology into the hands of those who are directly affected. In 2016, Asha Co-founded STEMGuyana, a non-profit organization that teaches robotics, scratch programming, and app development to youth across the country of Guyana. STEMGuyana has over 60 locations, and has recently been crowned the fastest growing STEM program in the Caribbean.
In 2018, Asha decided to combine her creative intuition and personal beliefs to create Dreamer Babe, a women’s empowerment lifestyle brand committed to encouraging women to dream big, to believe in themselves, and to be unapologetically bossy.
Asha has always felt very passionately about carving her own path in life, and is currently pursuing her latest entrepreneurial endeavor, Coily, a mobile app that plans to organize and revolutionize the billion dollar black hair care industry.
Leon Caleb Christian – Vice President, Digital Design & Innovation
Leon Caleb has a passion for new media arts, digital media, film, writing, and business, he has both the skill set and background necessary to dive deep into various creative and analytical fields. Leon is an upbeat, self-motivated team player with excellent communication and team work skills and is an outstanding team player. He envisions himself helping to define the future in innovative and creative new ways. Leon will complete his Bachelor of Science degrees in Integrated Digital Media and Media Culture & Communications, in May ’22
The K12 Youth Code international league is designed to encourage technology and STEM interest among students in K through 12th Grade. Our system is a fully automated for managing a national MIT Scratch programming coding tournament targeted to middle and elementary school students. Each competition will run for ten week intervals and will incorporate interdisciplinary challenges based on Common Core material students learn in class.
The league today has the capacity to accommodate more than one million student coders with minimal dependence on human resources. While MIT's Scratch Programming will be used in our Spring 2019 competition, we have plans to incorporate competitions that focus on robotics and drone use in our later competitions.
“Scratch is a media-rich programming environment” recently developed by MIT’s Media Lab. The Scratch language and the development environment are designed to be intuitive and easily learned by children without previous programming experience.
The main arguments behind the push for students to learn to code and specifically girls and students of color, usually center around preparing students for future jobs. There is a skill shortage in the Computer Science industry which expects a shortfall of more than one million jobs within the next 10 years.
Even students who do not work in the technology industry will also benefit throughout their life and careers by learning computer science, as all industries now involve some component of programming. Kids are growing up in a very different world than that of their parents. Many devices and services including Youtube, Netflix, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook are embedded in their daily lives. Even many 21st century toys are digital and programmable.
Outside of this, there is a skill shortage in the Computer Science industry which expects a shortfall of more than one million jobs within the next 10 years. Your children should be educated and prepared for the future and K12 Youth Code is here to help.