Meet the hearts and minds of Makeshop Design Lab that have turned the seeds of ideas into reality.
Youth Makeshop Teacher & Advisor
Hailing from the west side of Charleston, Deondray is a recent Capital High grad who splits his time between Boys & Girls Club and his job managing a food joint. When he’s not working he’s dipping his toes in css, lost deep in thought, or dropping inspiring knowledge on the younger kids.
Youth Makeshop Teacher & Advisor
Born-and-raised on the west side, Jayla is an artist, budding designer, singer, and aspiring chef. She is a New Community Builders summer fellow with 2swim, a part of Girls Leadership with YWCA, and about to enter her Senior year at Capital High.
Youth Makeshop Teacher & Advisor
Zavian is one of the founding members and teacher assistants of the Makeshop Coding Workshops. Earnest and sincere with an endless curiosity, he has been coding on and off with the MESH team since he was 14 years old. As an upcoming high school senior, these days he splits his time gaming, cooking and making things, with a little code here and there.
Youth Makeshop Coordinator & Video Editor
Jasper’s middle name might be enthusiasm. When there’s talk of building, imagining, and dreaming the things that don’t yet exist in his home neighborhood (the west side of Charleston), Jasper is THERE FOR IT. A Capital High grad, he just finished his first year at Marshall University and is constantly open to trying new things. He picked up video editing in two weeks, and has worked as the editor to pilot our digital workshop program like a pro.
Makeshop Coordinator & Fun Fitness Kids Club Founder
Traci wears all the hats – coordinator, radio personality, marketing and outreach genius, mother, wife, and founder of Fun Fitness Kids Club. She believes in healthy kids, and that healthy bodies contribute to healthy minds. You’ll find her workouts sprinkled into all future workshops. You can check out any of her obstacle courses, fun fitness events, or hire her fitness bus for your next party!
Gary has been pushing STEAM before the acronym even existed. For years, he’s run tech and engineering youth programs throughout West Virginia, and supported the pilot of the Makeshop workshops in 2019. When he’s not leading the STEAM revolution, you’ll find him coaching basketball and inspiring west side youth around his neighborhood.
Makeshop Organizer, Co-founder
Liz has a magic way of bringing ideas to life – breathing life into the nuts and bolts to make things real. She’s a local artist, organizer, designer, Operations Manager at Studio MESH, and the woman behind the scenes of all that is, and evolves to be, Makeshop Design Lab. She’s a Built by Girls national mentor and a New Community Builders national youth mentor.
Shaun is most comfortable behind his computer screen, solving the problems of life and building the new internet world through code. We think the only thing he may come out for, is to teach our youth coding workshops! He’s designed multiple pilot workshops (scouring the internet for the best open-source tools) and prototyped them with kids both in person and online. He works at Studio MESH, and mentors youth in his VTO time.
Curriculum Designer + Workbook Designer, Graphic Designer + Coder
Tameika, a graphic designer and coder by trade, has a natural patience for breaking down complex information for anyone to understand. She’s restorative, revolutionary, and a true believer in rest. A former designer at MESH in the New York office, she traveled to the West Virginia studio regularly to work on projects and kick-off the Makeshop pilot workshops. You’ll find her now traveling west, in search of her next great adventure.
Curriculum Designer + Design Teacher
Kathryn sees the entire world through a lens of design. You see a coffee cup, a street sign, a book, while she sees design jewels all around her. She spends her days as the Senior Designer at MESH, and has taught design at Pratt, University of Texas, and now, the Makeshop Design Lab. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, she’s now a world traveler, but keeps a special place in her heart for Appalachia.
Makeshop 2018 Summer Open Studio Organizer
It’s like a pen and paintbrush are extensions of Nichole’s body. She sees, speaks, breathes in the language of art everywhere, leaving every place more beautiful than when she found it with her drawings. Nichole ran our neighborhood summer Open Studio pop-up program in 2018, inspiring and organizing artists, social justice groups, and neighbors to host events and workshops, from Black & Queer in Appalachia to a Make-a-roni neighborhood potluck.
Makeshop 2018 Winter Open Studio Organizer
Amanda has a way with words; she is a creative writer and creative problem solver, approaching life and work with seemingly equal organization and innovation. Now a Communication and Development Officer for Read Aloud WV, during her time with Makeshop Amanda helped plant the seeds for coworking, and organized neighborhood and community events from open studio drawing sessions, to Shout Your Abortion events with Women’s Health Center, to panel talks like Beloved Community with speakers like the ACLU, Covenant House and Recovery Point.
Makeshop Design Intern & Design Teacher
A recent design graduate from the University of Charleston, Alyssa worked with MESH to bring our very first year of design workshops to life. She worked directly with kids in workshops to teach Illustrator – from poster design to character design – and handled our behind the scenes nuts and bolts, from evaluation analytics to laptop setups for kids. Her imagination paired with her digital design technical skills are leading her to a budding career as a digital designer!
Boys & Girls Club Regional Director
Michelle has a vision for new, radically imagined STEAM opportunities for youth across West Virginia. She started with her West Side Club, working to build a youth makerspace that will open up access to so many new opportunities for kids. The Makeshop Design Lab youth workshops wouldn’t exist today without Michelle believing we could all come together to make this idea real on the west side of Charleston.
Boys & Girls Club Charleston Unit Director
Sarah runs all the day-to-day with kids at the West Side Boys & Girls Club, keeping everyone safe and organized, as well as energized and inspired. With a Masters of Human Development from Virginia Tech, she has an in-depth understanding of how kids’ minds tick. She’s always wearing her smile, and always down to explore opportunities to expand youth hearts & minds.
Financial Literacy Leader & Founder of Financial Literacy Bootcamp
Mavery is breaking poverty and creating wealth. CPA by day, building the RESOLVE Financial Services Co-op, a community organizer, a father, a motivator, and founder of Financial Literacy Bootcamp. Through Financial Literacy Bootcamp he works with kids in West Virginia to understand the psychology of money and the basics of finances, to plant the seeds of collective, community wealth and abundance. Mavery is a guest teacher at Makeshop Design Lab, and collaborator in all things workshops!
Curriculum Designer & Teacher, Founder
Megan believes design can change the world, starting in our own backyards. She founded the Makeshop Design Lab to bridge the digital divide for youth in Appalachia, starting on the west side of Charleston. When we can transform the role of designer to facilitator, we can open up access to all the digital tools so youth can become the author’s of their story; so youth can contribute to the design of our collective future. When not dreaming, she is running her design practice, Studio MESH, or speaking on design as a tool for transformation at spots like Cooper Hewitt Design Museum or the ArtPlace America Summit.