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Join Elizabeth for a chat from home. She’ll share the impact of the coronavirus on Byte Back students and why we need digital inclusion nationwide. Click to set a reminder.
Erica joined Byte Back in April 2020. She is a native of the area, having grown up in Baltimore and Washington, DC. She earned her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in political communication, Spanish, and world religion and earned her master’s from George Washington University in political management.
Before joining the Byte Back team, Erica was the development director for the voting rights nonprofit Fair Elections Center, and she worked as a development specialist with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth. She’s a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is passionate about human rights, social justice, and the Oxford comma. In her free time, Erica enjoys live music, coffee, film, terrible reality TV, and the podcasts that cover it.
“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.” – Frida Kahlo
Although they attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, not far from DC, Ian grew up in Kenai, Alaska. They earned a Liberal Arts bachelor’s degree and went on to study Software Development and Security at University of Maryland University College, working as a software developer for a year before joining Byte Back in the late summer of 2017. Ian loves animals and in addition to having two cats, they regularly volunteer at a local animal shelter. When not engaged with coding or cats, Ian enjoys classical literature, video games, and baking.
“Everything is in flux and nothing is permanent.” – Heraclitus
Míchél joined Byte Back full-time in January 2020. Outside of some time spent living in the US Virgin Islands, she has spent much of her life living in the DMV. Prior to joining Byte Back, she studied hospitality management and worked in sales and administrative roles in both public and private organizations, including Marriott and WAMU. Míchél is passionate about the assimilation of positive trans-culture into society and closely follows policy developments related to transgender-identifying people. Outside of work, she loves to travel and take cruises as well as cook.
“About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.” – Rita Mae Brown
As a Washington, DC native, Ashley is proud to continue working in the community in which she was raised. After 15 years working in customer service and earning a degree in Business Administration, Ashley joined Byte Back as a student in fall of 2018. She earned her certifications in CompTIA IT Fundamentals and A+, then discovered her love for teaching while volunteering as a teaching assistant with Byte Back. She began teaching her first class on her own in January 2020. Outside of Byte Back, Ashley is passionate about sharing her spirituality and loves to play spades, cook, and write poetry. She lives with her husband and three children in Upper Marlboro, MD.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style” – Maya Angelou
Reggie has lived in Columbia and Ellicott City, Maryland almost his whole life. He earned his MBA with a specialty in corporate finance and MS in cybersecurity. He started at Byte Back in December 2016 with a strong background in the financial industry, with experience in process development, business process reengineering, training and development, and operations management. He’s passionate about computer technology and acting as a mentor for others. In his free time, he reads, draws, and spends time with his family.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
A native Washingtonian, Melissa has over 11 years of experience in program management and community-based economic development. Most recently, as senior director, program at Per Scholas, she helped connect curious and motivated individuals in low-income communities to employers. Prior to that, Melissa served as the manager of workforce development at Goodwill of Greater Washington, where she led multiple projects, most notably a $2 million grant through which over 700 DC residents were trained and placed in employment opportunities. Melissa also previously worked for the Department of Employment Services in Washington, DC and other local nonprofits.
In 2019, Melissa completed the American Express Leadership Academy which was offered in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership. Outside of work, Melissa serves as a mentor, and is proud of her two mentees who are currently thriving in the tech sector. She holds a BA in Psychology and Masters in Public Health.
When she isn’t helping people advance in their careers, you can find Melissa at the gym working towards her fitness goals, reading, or relaxing with her family while watching reruns of Game of Thrones.
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou
Brittany is a Maryland native now living in Baltimore. Before joining Byte Back, she completed a program in Information Technology at the Community College of Baltimore County and gained experience in administrative and clerical work as well as tutoring for tech skills. While supporting Byte Back’s Baltimore expansion, Brittany is continuing her education, working towards a Bachelors degree with a focus on e-commerce. In her free time, Brittany enjoys spending time with her kids, hiking, creating simple mobile apps, and cooking.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein
A Baltimore native, James lived in Iowa for a time before returning to his home state and starting work as one of the first members of Byte Back’s Baltimore team. Prior to joining Byte Back, James spent several years educating Marylanders on the benefits of organ and tissue donation for Donate Life Maryland. James is passionate about Black history and serving his community, and he also enjoys writing children’s books. When he isn’t working, James likes to swim, hike, travel, and meet new people.
“Save today for a brighter tomorrow.”
General Manager of Alternative Education, Vemo
“I’ve seen firsthand how education is the most powerful vehicle for social and economic mobility; Byte Back’s mission puts impactful, high quality education in the hands of those who need it.”
Demika was born and raised right here in Washington, DC. Although she joined Byte Back staff in 2018, she originally got involved with the organization as a student. After 15 years working as a restaurant manager, Demika enrolled in Byte Back classes and worked through the Administrative Professional track, earning MOS Excel and Outlook certifications along the way. She is passionate about theater and acting, enjoys playing cards and going on vacation, and loves spending time with her three children.
“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore,” – Michel Ruiz
President, Wisetek USA
“We have worked with Byte Back for many years and I see the employment and development of the people we hire as one of the most rewarding aspects of my job – knowing that we can provide jobs that turn into careers that help shape peoples’ lives. I have been fortunate to employee many who have stayed with us for years or moved on to further their careers.”
MBA Candidate, Harvard College
“It’s an honor to support Byte Back’s work and its continued impact on the community.”
Senior Director of People, Morning Consult
“Byte Back has the ability to change the lives of our students and to significantly increase their earning potential. Think about what that can affect – nutrition, health care, education, and not just for our students, but for their children and generations to come. That’s why I’m here, to support this very important work.”
Tech Fellow, Capital One
“Technology is a requirement to stay integrated in society and business, but learning these skills can be hard when technology is difficult to access. Byte Back is a safe and supportive place to help people take the initial steps to become more knowledgable and more connected in tech. I am honored to advance our mission.”
SVP/Director, Office of Inclusive Housing, Citi Community Development
“Byte Back gives people deprived of tech skills a way to compete in an increasingly digital world; the training opens doors increasing their earning potential & opportunities.”
Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
“As a long-time participant in debates regarding telecommunications and internet policy, I have become more and more enthusiastic about the power of technology to improve lives. Byte Back focuses like a laser on the opportunities that digital literacy and training can provide for the citizens of Washington, D.C., and the results it has achieved speak for themselves. I am extremely proud to serve on the Board and to help promote Byte Back’s mission.”
Regional Director, Strategy and Transformation, Press Ganey
“This organization has a sincere focus on community and takes great care of everyone on their technological journey. I’m humbled and honored to serve on this board.”
Account Manager, ANSYS, Inc.
“As an engineer, I’m passionate about making the world a better place through technology, but this cannot be done by technology in itself. People must apply it purposefully to create impactful change. Since the first Byte Back event I attended, I’ve been impressed by the organization’s mission and ability to improve lives through well thought out and proven educational programs. Byte Back’s students are truly inspiring, and they are the reason I wanted to get involved further. My goal as a board member is to apply my passion to ensure Byte Back continues to create opportunities for community members to improve their own lives.”
Founder & Principal, 452 Consulting
“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to support Byte Back, which opens the doors of opportunity for so many.”
Chief Legal Officer, The Dovel Group, LLC
President & Founder, Symposit LLC
“Having spent my entire career in the IT industry, I can clearly see the benefits that technology can provide to organizations, communities and individuals. The education Byte Back provides to their students empowers them to discover new opportunities, reach their potential and obtain gainful employment in a rewarding field. To this end, I am deeply honored to help Byte Back with its critically important mission.”
Senior Vice President, TD Bank, N.A.
“The empowerment Byte Back provides its students to improve so many aspects of their lives was such a draw to me. I am proud to assist Byte Back in their mission.”
Real Estate Broker and Realtor, TTR Sotheby’s
“As a lifelong Washingtonian I feel it is important to support the advancement of all of our city’s residents. Washington is a city and community with many inequities and Byte Back provides invaluable IT career training for some of our most vulnerable citizens. Within a city as dynamic as Washington, with access to so many different industries and opportunities for career advancement, it is critically important to make sure that all of our neighbors have the skills and knowledge necessary to benefit. Byte Back is leading this effort, and I am proud to help support them in this mission.”
Yvette joined the Byte Back team in early 2015. She leads Byte Back’s communications and marketing, including branding, press, thought leadership, social media, website, video production, email marketing, and print advertising. Yvette says she is “from Arkansas” but has spent much of her life traveling and has lived in California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Barcelona, Madrid, Maryland, and DC. After earning her bachelor’s in journalism and Spanish from the University of Arkansas, summa cum laude, Yvette served as an English teacher for five years in Spain. Before Byte Back, she managed social media and online community building for an LGBTQ youth organization.
She serves as co-chair for the Advisory Council for Rainbow Youth Alliance in Montgomery County, Maryland. She served as a member of the Digital Inclusion Week 2019 national planning committee and on the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s Net Inclusion 2020 national planning team. Yvette has advocated for digital equity as a guest writer for Technical.ly DC and shared her expertise on nonprofit branding and thought leadership at national conferences.
Yvette is passionate about digital equity and IRL equity. When she’s not behind her Mac, a video camera, or at a Lesbians Who Tech event, she loves spending time in the sunshine during those few nice weeks in fall and spring.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou
Under Elizabeth’s leadership, Byte Back’s innovative training pathway is earning national attention and support. Prior to joining Byte Back in 2015, Elizabeth served for four years as the Chief Operating Officer of Groundswell, a DC-based environmental nonprofit. She oversaw Groundswell’s evolution from a start-up, community-based organization into a nationally-recognized social enterprise.
She earned her bachelor’s from Swarthmore College and her master’s in public affairs and urban and regional planning from Princeton University. Elizabeth led development efforts for small, minority, and women-owned businesses for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, and she helped develop new workforce training programs in high-demand sectors for the DC Department of Employment Services.
Elizabeth serves on the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment and is a member of the Washington, DC mayor’s Innovation & Technology Inclusion Council. She is on the Board of Directors of The Workplace DC, the Goodwill Excel Center, The Engine Room, and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. She competed in two WeWork Creator Awards pitch competitions, winning a total of $720,000 for Byte Back.
As a recognized leader in tech and inclusion, Elizabeth was one of The Root 100 most influential African Americans of 2019 and was selected for the Washington Business Journal’s most competitive list – 40 Under 40. She was named a 2017, 2018, and 2019 Tech Titan by the Washingtonian and won a DC Inno 50 on Fire award, DCA Live New Power Woman of DC Tech award, and the Champion of Digital Equality Award from the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council. Elizabeth was also named a 2019 Enterprising Woman by Tagg Magazine and a 40 under 40 Queer Woman by the Washington Blade. She led a panel at SXSW in 2018 and was named a top 100 leadership speaker in Inc.
Elizabeth is dedicated to helping people thrive in a digital society and to creating a pathway to living-wage careers for thousands of people.
In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys the Capitol Hill neighborhood with her family, travels, and “geeks out” about pop culture, nonprofit management, feminism, and current events.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonel (Leo) grew up in Guatemala and moved to Maryland when he was 12. He completed the full Byte Back pathway of classes, starting in PC for Beginners and moving on to earn his certifications in IC3 Digital Literacy, Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel, and CompTIA A+. Before that, he was a store manager at Mattress Warehouse but eager to pursue his passion for technology and teaching. In his free time, Leo enjoys cooking, reading books, and watching movies.
“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” – Dalai Lama
Martika joined Byte Back in April 2018. Born in Alexandria, VA, Martika obtained a degree in psychology from James Madison University and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Bowie State University. Her passion for improving educational outcomes of underserved communities led her to teach in both elementary and middle schools and work in social services. She currently resides in Bowie, MD and, in her free time, enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time outdoors.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Maya Angelou
Logan joined Byte Back in 2019 as an Avodah Corps Member. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Logan comes to DC by way of Michigan, joining Byte Back as a Computer Foundations 1 instructor. In his year at Byte Back, Logan hopes to develop leadership and teaching skills to guide students to living-wage careers. In the long term, he plans to translate those skills into a career providing services to marginalized communities. When he’s not at Byte Back, Logan enjoys parenting his two cats, practicing self-care, and searching out the best barbacoa tacos east of the Mississippi.
“I don’t have a single plan for my life more important than learning to love people well” – Andrea Gibson
Margot hails from Rochester, NY, but has spent the last several years working with nonprofit organizations in the District. After earning a bachelor’s from St. Lawrence University, she served as a fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center and then supported fundraising and student leadership efforts at DC Central Kitchen. Margot is drawn to nonprofit work by her passion for eliminating poverty by creating access to opportunity – she joined Byte Back in 2019 because of the clear pathways for graduates to find living-wage careers. In her free time Margot enjoys screen printing, running, skiing, and hiking.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have” – Maya Angelou
Although his roots are in New York City, Michael has made his career and his home in DC. His passion for IT work led him to earn several professional certifications, including CompTIA A+ and Network+, Citrix CCA, and Microsoft MCSA. With these certifications he served as Industrial Bank’s Director of Cyber Security and Director of Information Systems. Michael’s desire to learn continues even now: he is currently studying for a CIISP cybersecurity certification. When he isn’t studying or teaching Byte Back students, Michael enjoys mountain biking, drone racing, swimming, archery, astronomy, and movies.
“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.” – Socrates
ReNeeta is a native Washingtonian, born and raised right here in DC. Before joining Byte Back in 2018 she earned her Associate’s Degree at Strayer University and spent time working for the Pentagon Renovation Program at the Pentagon. She is passionate about supporting nonprofits that help build communities, something she is thrilled to be a part of at Byte Back. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, watching sports, and listening to music.
“Life isn’t how many breaths you take, but it’s the moments that take your breath away.” – Will Smith
Mark joined Byte Back as Education Manager in summer of 2018. Originally from San Antonio, TX, Mark came to DC ten years ago to pursue a Masters at Georgetown University, building on his BA in English from UT Austin and experience teaching English in Morocco with the Peace Corps. He’s been involved in higher education ever since, holding positions at the University of the District of Columbia, University of Maryland, and Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. Mark is currently pursuing a PhD in English from the University of Maryland, to be completed in 2019. When he’s not working on his dissertation or at the office, Mark enjoys music, rock climbing, travel, and camping.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
Chrissie joined Byte Back as the first team member dedicated to developing the Baltimore expansion full-time. A Maryland native, she completed her undergraduate degree at Morgan State University before pursuing a career in sales, marketing, and non-profit management. Most recently she spent six years working for Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake in Baltimore. She is passionate about empowering communities and enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
“By helping people get what they want, you get what you want.” -Zig Ziglar
Marty is a native Washingtonian who recently returned to the District after 21 years in Boston and Guatemala. In addition to holding a Masters in Education, Marty has a wide range of professional experience, including teaching at a public school, working in a large hotel company, and working in international development. Most recently he earned his CompTIA certifications at Byte Back, and, in addition to his instructor position, is working as an IT contractor. He loves helping people learn, especially with the help of technology. He spends his free time cooking (especially Thai curries and French Toast -but not at the same time), eating out, watching movies, and thinking about going running.
“Knowing Is Not Enough; We Must Apply. Wishing Is Not Enough; We Must Do.” –Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Amanda is a long-time DC-area resident, having grown up outside of Baltimore and lived in the District since 2010. She earned a bachelor’s in Political Science and Psychology from American University before working with Nielsen and as Operations, Technology, and Talent Management with Kaiser Associates. Amanda’s passion for community engagement and advocacy drew her to Byte Back, where she started working in September 2017. In her free time she loves travelling and exploring the neighborhoods of DC.
“Believe in yourself, learn, and never stop wanting to make the world a better place for others.” – Mary McLeod Bethune
Chris joined Byte Back in June 2017. Originally from Athens, GA, he moved to Washington in 2012 to enroll in Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture, and Technology master’s program. During his graduate work Chris balanced his studies with professional communications experiences at tech-oriented non-profits and interface design research on a project with NASA. After graduating, he worked in political digital communications during the 2016 election. Chris was drawn to Byte Back’s work because of his interest in intersections of technology and society, whether personal, cultural, or political, and the ways we can leverage technology to have a tangible impact on people’s lives. He’s also an avid cook, musician, and sports fan. He lives with his wife, cat, and dog in Alexandria, VA.
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain
Derrick joined the Byte Back team in summer 2016. He’s from Gainesville, Florida and currently lives in Fairfax and holds a master’s in social work and master’s of divinity. He has experience in public and nonprofit sectors, working in higher education and workforce development. Before Byte Back, he was working as a career counselor and associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College. Derrick describes himself as a “people builder,” someone who loves working with people, identifying their strengths, and helping them grow. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, working out, reading, and baking.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Eliana moved to Washington, DC from Toronto in September 2018, joining Byte Back as an Avodah Service Corps Digital Literacy Instructor. Prior to her move, Eliana earned a Bachelor’s in Diaspora and Transnational Studies from the University of Toronto. Interest in social justice and education led her to work with an international organization that connected diverse students to learn about each other’s cultures. In addition to her work at Byte Back and participating in Avodah activities, Eliana spends her time in the US hiking, reading, and travelling.
“It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities” – JK Rowling
Originally from southern Indiana, Rosanne earned her undergraduate degree from Purdue University before moving to the DMV for a Master’s program at American University. Although her graduate degree is in International Affairs, her passion for exploring new industries and love of new challenges led her to the tech sector, where she worked in positions from help desk support to IT project management. Most recently, she worked as a Product Manager for a team building an AI-powered chatbot platform for social media. Rosanne is deeply interested in human rights, animal rights, rehabilitative re-entry programs, and criminal justice reform. In her free time she loves biking, reading, and sci-fi movies.
“I wandered lonely as a cloud…” – William Wordsworth
Abbie is a nonprofit development professional, capacity builder, and data janitor who joined Byte Back in February 2018 to oversee and grow the organization’s raised funds. She’s spent over a decade working for technology and human rights nonprofits, most recently for the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT). She is a recipient of Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate, and earned a Master of Public Administration from George Mason University and a Master of Philosophy from American University. She is a sitting member of the Board of Trustees for the College of Liberal Arts, Mount Saint Mary’s University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Abbie spends what little free time two toddlers allow going to shows, catching up on movies, and cooking. She is a puzzle enthusiast – both crossword and jigsaw – and a vinyl junkie. Abbie lives with her husband and children in Silver Spring, MD, and is a lifelong resident of the Washington, DC area.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
Quizaira (key-SIGH-ra) was raised in Orlando, FL, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Multi-Cultural Humanities from the University of Central Florida before spending two years in the Dominican Republic. She has spent much of her professional life since then engaged with nonprofits in the tech and education space. Before joining Byte Back in February 2018, she spent nearly seven years at 501cTECH (now Tech Impact) helping nonprofits build programs for effective and efficient technology adoption and best practices. She is interested in philosophy, astronomy, film, music, and pop culture, and enjoys cooking, yoga, playing bass guitar, and doing craft projects of all kinds.
“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” – Seneca
Although she has spent time in cities throughout the Southeast, including Atlanta, GA, Greensboro, NC, and Baltimore County, Jasmine has spent much of her life in DC. After obtaining a BA in English and spending a year teaching at an alternative school for teen moms, Jasmine earned her MA from The George Washington University. She then became certified and worked as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor before joining Byte Back as Career Coach/Case Manager in fall 2017. Her professional work has consistently reflected her passion for advocating for the homeless and helping survivors of domestic violence. In her spare time, she likes to dance, read, and pursue an interest in interior design.
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it” –Margaret Thatcher
Danny grew up in Albuquerque, NM, before living in Denver, CO during his undergraduate studies in Media Studies. Passionate about social justice and the pursuit of leaving the world better than he found it, Danny was connected to Byte Back through Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps. Outside of teaching at Byte Back, Danny enjoys meeting new people, learning about different cultures, cooking for friends and family, and communal singing. He joined Byte Back in fall 2017.
“There are two things people can’t stand. Change, and the way things are.” – Anonymous
CFO, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
“I am a strong believer in education, whatever form that comes in. Personally, my education has been the key to changing the trajectory of my life and to be able to help other people do the same is very rewarding. Supporting Byte Back and its mission is truly an honor.”
Nathan was born just up the road from DC in Southern Maryland, but grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where he eventually went on to obtain a BA in Political Science from The Ohio State University. Drawn to public work by his passion for people, friendships, building up communities, and seeing individuals succeed, Nathan spent time working in both state and federal politics. Outside of his professional and personal interest in U.S. politics, he enjoys cheering for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Ohio State Buckeyes; cooking and eating good food; spending time outside hiking, kayaking, and camping; and strategy board games. He joined Byte Back in October 2017.
“The good man is the friend of all living things” – Ghandi
Carol was born in Peoria, Illinois and has lived in San Francisco; Paris, France; Boston; Atlanta; Houston; and Washington, DC. She has a B.S. in Management Studies from University of Maryland University College, is a Certified Health Education Specialist, and a graduate certificate in Global and Community Health from George Mason University in Fairfax. A specialist in nonprofit management, Carol has served in senior level positions with national, international, and community-based organizations, helping strengthen those organizations’ effectiveness in strategic planning, staff development, and project management activities. Outside of work, Carol is an avid traveler and global citizen; she has traveled through Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. She is also an active volunteer for global health organizations White Ribbon Alliance and Haitian Health Foundation
“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King
Chris joined the Byte Back team in January 2016. He’s passionate about social justice causes that work to empower people, which is what led him to Byte Back. Chris is originally from Indiana, but also spent one year in Haiti working on various projects. He earned his bachelor’s in anthropology, history, and classical civilizations from Indiana University and interned in both the nonprofit and public sectors. He enjoys cultural experiences and hearing others’ stories in his work. He stays active in his free time, hiking, playing sports, and enjoying nature.
“The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain
Victoria joined the Byte Back team in early summer 2017. She’s from Northern Virginia and earned her bachelor’s in sociology from James Madison University. In the past, she has volunteered for many different nonprofits, most of them focused on mentoring teens. Victoria is passionate about feminism and LGBTQ+ causes, promoting equality, nonprofits, and mentoring. She enjoys reading, writing, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and dogs.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde
Shelbi joined Byte Back in spring 2017 as a temp and then joined the team permanently as staff. She’s originally from Southern Maryland but also lived in Miami for four years. She earned her bachelor’s in marketing from Johnson & Wales University and is currently working on her MBA in finance. In the past, Shelbi has worked as a corporate recruiter for health professionals in the medical device industry. She is most passionate about making an impact on her community, especially through the #BlackLivesMatter movement and fighting for cultural and social equality and women’s rights. In her free time, Shelbi can be found exploring new cities, attending social events, yoga, and the circus, which is her favorite place.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Advisor, International Monetary Fund
“Byte Back’s commitment to technology education, workforce development and job placement resonates with our Board made up of leaders determined to bridge the digital divide in DC; serving as their Board Chair is an honor.”
Ellen is from Annapolis but spent most of her life in the San Francisco area before moving to Washington, DC in 2008. She earned her bachelor’s in linguistics and went to the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her master’s in computer science. Ellen was first introduced to Byte Back as a student, earning her Microsoft Technology Associate, IC3 Digital Literacy, and Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel certifications. In the past, she’s held a variety of interesting jobs, which had her importing French vintage textiles for design studios in San Francisco, running light boards and doing costume design for theaters, and even picking fruit for an organic produce distributor. She has also had tech positions. As a start-up entrepreneur, she configured the Apache firewall for an e-commerce server, and she helped develop a natural language search engine for a content management provider. Ellen joined the Byte Back team as a certification tutor in August 2015 and became the training manager in January 2017. In her free time, Ellen enjoys needlework, traveling, playing pool, and listening to bluegrass.
“Everything you need for success in this world is already here in the world where you can reach it. You just might have to look around.” – Ellen, as inspired by Woody the bus driver
Angela joined the Byte Back team in early 2017. She’s passionate about working with like-minded thinkers to enact effective social change, which is what led her to Byte Back. Angela is originally from Charleston, South Carolina but has been in the Washington, DC area for eight years. She earned her bachelor’s in communications and Spanish and completed graduate coursework in public management. She has worked on electoral campaigns, in Capitol Hill, and in labor and community organizing. Angela enjoys spending time with friends at the plethora of events that DC has to offer. She also enjoys tasting new cuisine and reading non-fiction on a perfect spring day at the park.
“Take Risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” – Anonymous
Senior Advisor, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, Executive Office of the Mayor, Government of the District of Columbia
“I am deeply committed personally and professionally to Byte Back’s work in the community … ensuring that every person has the opportunity to embrace and utilize the power of technology and the economic impact that it can have.”
Principal & Co-Founder, Lynx Insights LLC
“Byte Back helps many underserved people rise above poverty and uncertainty by teaching them important 21st-century skills. As someone who has been involved in educational technology for more than six years, I’m excited to contribute my industry knowledge and skills to promoting an organization that empowers so many of my fellow Washington, DC citizens.”
“I was beyond touched when I attended a Byte Back graduation ceremony and saw the impact access to computer training has on many individuals. Most of us take access to computers, smart phones, WiFi, all the things that we can’t remember living without for granted – and we forget how limited our access to information was before we knew how to search for it and create digital documents. I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful organization.”
Senior Manager, User Experience, IBM
“Education empowers decision making and solving difficult problems. Technology education is absolutely key to success in the 21st century. I have experienced and witness the power of education to change a person’s life and want to be part of giving back to others.”
Channbunmorl (Chom) joined the Byte Back team in summer 2016. He earned his master’s in public administration with a focus in applied research. He recently moved to Washington, DC from Portland, Oregon, where he was a program coordinator and evaluator for a social and racial justice youth-led nonprofit. Chom brings enthusiasm to the team, along with expertise in database management, program evaluation, and program development, which help enhance Byte Back’s mission. Chom enjoys playing tennis and basketball, cooking for his family and friends, and performing spoken word poetry.
“But please don’t cry, dry your eyes, never let up/Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up.” – Tupac Shakur from “Keep Ya Head Up”
Joan grew up in Pennsylvania and relocated to Washington, DC in 1998. She earned her bachelor’s from Eastern Michigan University and her master’s in business administration from Johns Hopkins University. Joan has worked at four federal government agencies, beginning her career at the General Accountability Office and moving to the Department of the Navy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and finally the Department of Justice. Joan first heard about Byte Back from a friend, and before joining the organization as an AmeriCorps instructor in early fall 2016, she graduated from Byte Back’s Office Track course. Joan brings a passion for education and dedication to being a life-long learner. In her free time, she practices Tai Chi.
“When praised highly by others, one feels that there is no hardship one cannot bear. Such is the courage that springs from words of praise. – Nichiren Daishonin, 13th century Buddhist monk
Shannon joined Byte Back in early fall 2016 as an AmeriCorps instructor. Originally from Washington, DC, Shannon also attended college in the District, earning her bachelor’s from Georgetown University and her master’s from American University. In addition to teaching at Byte Back, Shannon is a production assistant at SiriusXM Radio and has a passion for music, audio engineering, singing, and politics. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, road trips, watching Netflix, and visiting the Lincoln Memorial.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson
Andrew considers Hampton Roads, Virginia his home, although he has lived in Guam, Seattle, and San Diego. He earned his bachelor’s in psychology, with a minor in drama, from the University of Virginia. His time at Byte Back started as an AmeriCorps member before he moved on as an instructor for Byte Back’s IC3 Digital Literacy Certification and Microsoft Office Specialist courses. He is also a Pearson test proctor for Byte Back. Andrew has a passion for education and the performing arts and has performed at the Smithfield Little Theater and the Roper Performing Arts Center. He’s known for incorporating his love of performing into the classes he teaches and calls himself a “tech geek” and a “theater geek.” He enjoys the local theater and improv scene in DC, as well as gaming, discovering new restaurants, and collecting graphic novels.
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. If you lose that, you’re nothing.” – Robin Williams
Founder & President, Acquire Data Solutions, Inc.
Barbara has worked at Byte Back since 2010. She is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the facilities at the Byte Back headquarters, the IT Academy, and First Time Technology. Before Byte Back, she worked in child care and as a teacher’s aid. A DC native, Barbara is passionate about her grandchildren and loves going to the movies.
“Freedom is only necessity understood.” – William James
Nicole joined Byte Back in 2014 as Chief Operating Officer. A native of Kansas City, she is passionate about youth and education. She received her bachelor’s in journalism from Norfolk State University and is currently pursuing an MBA in nonprofit management from the University of Dallas. Before Byte Back, Nicole was director of operations at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve the Division Head of Recreation & Leisure Activities for the City of Norfolk, Virginia. Nicole enjoys Kansas City Chiefs football, volunteering, and spending time with her friends and family.
“Success is not to be measured so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington
Marianne started as director of development in summer 2015. She’s responsible for building sustainable funding streams to support the mission of Byte Back and its programs. A New York native, she has lived in the DC metropolitan area for over 30 years. Prior to joining Byte Back, Marianne spent 20 years in the for-profit world in marketing and international business before entering the nonprofit sector. She served as director of corporate partnerships at Exponent Philanthropy and as development consultant at Safe Kids Worldwide and the Home Safety Council. She also served on the Association of Women in International Trade and as a trustee for The Women in International Trade Charitable Trust. She’s passionate about helping those who are economically vulnerable, especially women and children. Marianne loves gardening and spending time with her teenage daughter and their black lab, Ebony.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Mohammed Ali
Isel joined the team in 2008 as an accounting contractor. After living outside of the United States for two years, she returned to Byte Back in 2012 and was hired as director of finance. A native of Puerto Rico, Isel is passionate about learning and achieving educational success. She has an MBA in finance from Johns Hopkins University and used to work as an accounting consultant. She loves to travel and read.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Tamikia began as an administrative assistant at Byte Back in 2013, and in 2015 she was hired as volunteer coordinator. She currently manages AmeriCorps and other community volunteers. Before Byte Back, she did youth development work at local DC nonprofits. A DC native, Tamikia is passionate about raising her daughter into a successful, independent woman.
“Cherish yesterday, dream tomorrow, live today. ” – Richard Bach
Dometria joined Byte Back’s administrative team in 2013 and has been doing administrative work for 18 years. Born in the Kenilworth Gardens area of Northeast DC, she is passionate about God, her children, and baking. She runs her own pastry business and caters for weddings and receptions in the DC area. She plans to get a degree in pastry arts.
“Do it right or do it twice!”
Cherise is a DC native and began as a volunteer and student with Byte Back in 2011. She found teaching very rewarding and went on to serve as an AmeriCorps instructor at Byte Back for two years, teaching PC for Beginners, Office Track, Access, Excel, Website Design, Online Tools, and workshops. After a brief time away, Cherise was drawn again to Byte Back’s mission and started as an administrative assistant in June 2015. She earned her bachelor’s in computer engineering technology from Capitol Technology University (formerly Capitol College) and worked at the Office of the Chief Technology Officer as a web producer. Cherise’s interests vary from foreign cultures and languages – American Sign Language, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish – to Korean music and Japanese anime.
“Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”
“A little respect goes a long way.”
John was born in Atlanta and went on to live in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and North Carolina but has spent most of his life in Washington, DC. He graduated from Cardozo High School. He started working at Byte Back in 2013 and has worked at all four locations of the organization’s offices. He also works at Federal Housing part time. In his spare time he loves watching and playing sports, going fishing, pitching horseshoes, and bowling. John calls himself the “number one Redskins fan in the DMV.”
“So let it be written. So let it be done.”
Monique Riviere joined Byte Back in 2014. Years ago, after graduating from Howard University with her bachelor’s in business administration, Monique met Byte Back founder Glenn Stein and began serving as a volunteer instructor. Monique began her IT career serving as a database analyst and technical consultant for nonprofit organizations in the DC area. Prior to Byte Back, she was the project director of databases and IT at Independent Sector, a leadership network for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations. A New York native, Monique enjoys practicing yoga, volunteering for hospice, and spreading positive awareness of foster children.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.” – Einstein
DC-native Francisco “Cisco” Vasquez began working at Byte Back as an administrative assistant in 2012 before serving as registrar for two years. Before serving as Manager of Instruction & Curriculum, Cisco was Community Academy manager. Before Byte Back, he worked for a therapy organization for children in DC. Cisco is passionate about DC sports teams, owns a 90-gallon salt water fish tank, and collects LEGOs.
“Just Do It.” – Nike
Neil served as an AmeriCorps instructor at Byte Back for two years before joining the staff as registrar in 2014. A native of Arlington, Virginia, Neil is passionate about learning new things and engaging with the world around him. Before Byte Back, Neil worked in construction and as a tour guide in DC.
“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.”- GK Chesterton
Andrea served as an AmeriCorps instructor before joining the staff in 2013. A native of Pennsylvania, she has a bachelor’s in communications and media studies from Temple University. In the past, she has worked as a videographer, youth advocate, and teacher. She is passionate about providing people with the tools they need to succeed.
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
Iyana or “Izzy” is a Detroit native. She joined the Byte Back team in July 2015 after serving as an AmeriCorps program coordinator at Playworks and an instructor of intercultural communication at a community college. Izzy is passionate about community service, fighting poverty, and international music. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology, with a minor in Asian studies with a Japan focus. She studied abroad in Hikone-shi, Shiga-ken, Japan and enjoys writing and performing poetry at DC spoken word venues and baking.
“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Bock is originally from San Francisco, where he began searching for opportunities to serve his community while still in college. He earned his bachelor’s in biological sciences from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Before coming to Byte Back in summer 2015, Bock served as an AmeriCorps member and employment lead at LIFT-DC, a community resource center. While there, he referred clients to PC for Beginners classes at Byte Back. Besides being passionate about community engagement, Bock is interested in racial equity and social justice. In his free time, he likes watching anime, baking, exploring DC, and working out at the YMCA.
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
A DC native, Sammie Fitzgerald heard about Byte Back one day at church. He signed up for classes and has been “full steam ahead” ever since. He received his A+ certification before being hired full time as Byte Back’s manager of refurbishing. Before coming to Byte Back, Sammie worked in communications and engineering positions for 35 years. Sammie is also a reverend at Shiloh Baptist Church, where he started a ministry that serves homeless and battered women. He’s passionate about transferring knowledge and skills to those in need and loves sharing riddles with the staff.
“Look at the bright side of any situation and thank God for where you are and what you can learn from each experience.”
As a computer refurbisher, Jonathan makes sure donated computers are ready to be sold to customers. He is passionate about seeing the good in people so they may feel the good in themselves. Before Byte Back, Jonathan worked at the National Institutes of Health, FedEx, and in the public school system. A DC Native, Jonathan enjoys cooking, wine tasting, and going to flea markets.
“Speak life, light, and empathy.”
Carl has been serving as logistics coordinator since 2014. He is responsible for creating and developing relationships with computer donors and maintaining First Time Technology’s computer supply. Carl has a bachelor’s in information systems from York College of Pennsylvania. Before Byte Back, Carl worked for a defense logistics agency for six years. A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Carl enjoys playing basketball with his daughter and riding his snowmobile.
“Convenience is not an acceptable foundational value for society. It’s a disease.” – Cameron Diaz
Michael is a Washingtonian. He earned his bachelor’s in information technology and has earned certifications in CCENT, Security+, Network+, and A+. In addition to being an instructor at Byte Back, Michael is an information systems manager at Howard University, and he used to work as an IT specialist at Trinity Washington University. In addition to being passionate about STEM education and black empowerment, he enjoys playing golf, going to batting cages, and watching educational YouTube videos.
“It’s easy to be lazy.” – His father, Michael L. Williams
Yasheeca is a “techie” and entrepreneur originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica. Before she joined Byte Back in summer 2015, Yasheeca worked as a mentor and computer repair teacher for youth. She runs her own business as a computer technician and has the desire to create a future to live in freedom, where and how she wants. She believes in making the best of circumstances and accepting change. In addition to working on computers, Yasheeca likes creative activities, including audio and video editing and mixing, blogging, and making beaded jewelry.
“Que sera, sera.” (Whatever will be, will be.) – Doris Day
Alba is originally from El Salvador. She’s currently pursuing her associate’s degree in computer science at University of DC Community College. She wants to continue her education and earn her master’s in cyber security and her doctorate in computer science and physics. She served as a desktop support specialist intern at Blue Cross Blue Shield and completed an internship at the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer, where she tested software with their software quality assurance team. Alba never gives up and is passionate about helping others and eager to start her own nonprofit in technology and education. She enjoys reading science fiction and spending time in nature with her loved ones.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
Crystal is originally from North Carolina and has lived in the DC area since 2000. She earned her bachelor’s from Howard University and completed the Comp TIA A+ Essentials/Networking program. She previously worked as a teacher and in tech support at the World Bank Children’s Center. She enjoys working with computers and would like to pursue a career as a network administrator. Crystal loves reading, doing yoga, and spending time with her husband and two kids.
“Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.” – Dennis Waitley
Laura is from Silver Spring, Maryland and grew in a tech-heavy household. She graduated with her bachelor’s in animal behavior and a minor in psychology from Towson University. Previously, she ran her own pet-sitting business and did retail at conventions in the DC area. She loves animals and watching cartoons. Laura also likes to spend her time reading science fiction, fantasy, and comic books.
“The person who never made mistakes, never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
Robin is from Takoma Park, Maryland. She earned her bachelor’s in English and went on to earn certifications in CompTIA Network+ and Certiport IC3. Before joining Byte Back AmeriCorps, she worked as a site manager for a low income tax credit co-op. She’s passionate about helping others by sharing her knowledge. In her spare time, Robin enjoys reading and cooking.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington
Risk Analyst, Department of Housing and Urban Development
“Byte Back students are constantly inspiring me to push myself in new ways every day.”
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer, Corporation for Enterprise Development
“I feel fortunate to be part of an organization that is so deeply committed to promoting economic opportunity in the DC Community.”
IT Specialist, Internal Revenue Service
“Contributing to the upward mobility of individuals is rewarding.”
Independent Consultant in Information Technology & Services
“Byte Back changes people’s lives, gives them hope toward economic independence, and teaches them that it is never too late to learn. I’m very proud to be part of this organization.”
Director Technical Operations, Latisys Corporation
Extended Capabilities Lead, Deloitte
“It is a a privilege to have the opportunity to help the staff and students expand on their successes serving the DC community.”
Independent Consultant to Foundations & Nonprofits
“I’m drawn to Byte Back by the urgency of its mission — no community as wealthy and powerful as ours should tolerate such a deep economic divide. What keeps me committed is the effectiveness of its services and pursuit of organizational excellence.”
Barbara has worked at Byte Back since 2010. She is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the facilities at the Byte Back headquarters, the IT Academy, and First Time Technology. Before Byte Back, she worked in child care and as a teacher’s aid. A DC native, Barbara is passionate about her grandchildren and loves going to the movies.
“Freedom is only necessity understood.” – William James