Nithin Jilla

Executive Director

Nithin Jilla obtained his bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. He is a passionate educator and social entrepreneur who champions educating and empowering the next generation of innovators. Nithin has been involved with AppJam+, the main outreach initiative of Dreams for Schools since it began in 2012. He is currently the Executive Director of Dreams for Schools, working with the team, to bring STEM after-school programs and exposure of careers to students in underserved and low-income communities. Nithin also serves as Program Director at the Tarsadia Foundation and is a consultant on Educational Programs to the Orange County Department of Education.

Nithin has an interest in technology, education and enjoys working collectively with leaders to bring about positive impact. He aspires to build models and systems that are sustainable and empower the next generation of youth to become leaders in their local community. Nithin has spoken at the Clinton Global Initiative University, International CES Transforming Edu EdTech Conference and others about the importance of a strong STEM and Computer Science educated youth. Nithin also serves on a number of advisory boards of Child S.H.A.R.E, American India Foundation Young Professionals OC, and the UC Irvine Young Alumni Council.

Shannon Alfaro

Curriculum Advisor & Trainer

Shannon has been a part of the AppJam+ team since 2012, has served the program in various leadership roles, and currently serves as Curriculum Director. She is passionate about the AppJam+ mission to help students from under-represented communities discover their talents, and possible future in STEM related careers. Professionally, Shannon has been a Computer Science Lecturer for the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science at UC Irvine since 2003.

Audrey Auyang

Program Director

Audrey joined the AppJam+ team in February 2017 and will focus on running Dreams for Schools' after-school programs. As an alumnus of UC Irvine with a Business Information Management degree, Audrey joins Dreams for Schools having previously volunteered for AppJam+ during its early stages. Audrey is passionate about visualizing and implementing sustainable program structures for our initiatives as well as their furthering their growth.

James Gapp

Programs Specialist

James Gapp has worked in education for over 20 years. After graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering he worked briefly in the private sector before becoming a mathematics teacher in 1994. During this period he helped consult on several projects including one for Southern California Edison helping develop curriculum designed to teach energy conservation. Looking to broaden his experience he later moved back into the private sector as a consulting engineer. After five years in the field he was called back to education as the Director of Technology at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar California. For the last six years he has enjoyed working with faculty and students developing projects in technology and design engineering. He uses his experience as an engineer and educator to create innovative projects that lean on the engineering design process and bridge code with making.

Megan Traver

Educational Consultant

Megan has worked with the AppJam+ team since June 2012. She is the Educational Consultant for the program, which includes providing training to mentors on how to motivate, work with, and develop effective collaborative teams of middle school students. Megan brings enthusiasm, fun, and engagement into everything she does. She has a true passion for her work in teaching, coaching, and leadership. Megan started her career in education as a math teacher and now serves as the Principal at an urban middle school with 1,200 students in west Long Beach.