Emoti-Con is an annual conference for teens to express themselves through digital media and technology. They share projects across a range of interest areas, and address pressing issues in their global, local, and learning environments.

Emoti-Con is the largest event of its kind amongst informal learning programs in New York City. The event has been developed through a unique collaboration between NYC youth-serving organizations, including Global Kids, Mouse, the New York Public Library, and Parsons The New School for Design. Emoti-Con addresses the need for cross-institutional collaboration and provides the much needed venue for youth to get offline and connect through their common identity as youth media producers and technologists.

Organized by and for Young Designers

Young people play a significant role in the design, planning and implementation of Emoti-Con through participation in the Design Fellows program at Parsons, the Emoti-Con Aluminati on the Steering Committee, and the youth emcees working with Global Kids.


Marcus Del Valle, Digital Learning and Leadership Trainer at Global Kids

A Brooklyn bred Global Kids alumnus, Marcus joined Global Kids with the goal of giving back to the youth of NYC. Marcus is passionate about storytelling in all of its growing forms and uses that passion to inform his creative and positive youth development practices. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and English Writing from the College of Staten Island and has used the video game, anime, comic book, and film genres as analytical tools for today’s society in his academic work and as a hobbyist. As a member of the Digital Learning and Leadership team, Marcus focuses on the representation of people of color in the media and entertainment as a whole, equipping students to interpret and analyse news and digital media platforms. Through this work, students all over NYC have researched their own communities to create a local to global connection and respond to it with digital artwork in the above-stated genres. Marcus is a huge nerd at heart and a growing writer and game developer who is more than happy to have the opportunity to mesh his personal passions to his educational career.

Iltimas Doha, 2019-2020 Emoti-Con Aluminati member.

Iltimas Doha is an interaction designer and recent student at Parsons & Cornell. In high school, Iltimas was selected as a youth keynote speaker for Emoti-Con sharing his work at EYEBEAM.

Mickell Ford, 2018-2020 Emoti-Con Aluminati member.

Mickell Ford is a game developer and recent graduate of Parsons School for Design. In high school, Mickell presented assistive technology prototypes with his team from the Mouse Design League program, and his gaming work from EYEBEAM.

Zachary Margolis, Manager, Youth Technology at New York Public Library.

Zach works as part of The New York Public Library’s Youth Program and Curriculum Development team as the Manager of Youth Technology. The Youth Technology team supports NYPL branch staff in running free programs that empower kids with the digital literacies needed to innovate, creatively communicate, and think critically in an increasingly tech-centric world. In his previous four years at the Library, he has worked with the Education team to develop and pilot several new programs. Before joining the Library, he served as a science teacher in Arlington Public Schools (Virginia) and NYC Charter Schools. Zach holds an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Marymount University and a B.S. in Biology from Trinity University.

Amanda Perales, 2018-2020 Emoti-Con Aluminati member

Amanda is an Aluminati committee member and certified weirdo. She first participated in Emoti-Con in 2014 where she and her Mouse Corps design team presented their project “Omni-Palette”, which won the “Best Pitch” award. This device is an assistive art palette which gave ease of access to people with Cerebral Palsy who wished to paint. In 2015, she and her team presented their project, “Game-Ability,” which is an easy to use controller for people with limited mobility. After she graduated high school, she continued to be a part of the Emoti-Con community and has been involved with the event every year since. Amanda loves cats, technology, anime, and anything quirky.

Gigi Polo, Professor at Parsons The New School for Design, Principal at Myellow Boots Studio

Gigi is a Dominican designer and filmmaker; she is the Principal at Myellow Boots Studio, and a Part-Time Associate Teaching Professor at Parsons The New School for Design for both onsite and online classes. Gigi is the producer/editor of a documentary about bipolar disorder and the artistic temperament called Madly Gifted ( https://vimeo.com/76631021). Her passion for teaching lies at the intersection of student-centered teaching and brain-based learning. Gigi is currently working on a series of graphic images that contest social prejudice and stereotypes. To see some of her work, please visit http://www.myellowboots.com and Academia.edu/GigiPolo.

Meredith Summs, Sr. Director of Afterschool and Informal Education at Mouse

Meredith is a learning technology specialist, a curriculum developer, and a maker. In this role, she oversees the Learning Design team to develop content, web platforms and tools, and live programming. Over her 15+ years as an informal educator, she has taught digital and analog circuitry, web literacy, human-centered design, assistive & adaptive tech, IT and game design. Meredith is an inaugural member of the MozillaNetwork50, recognizing the most devoted and impactful community members vital to promoting openness, innovation, and opportunity on the web. You can follow Meredith at @meredithsumms.


The Emoti-Con “Aluminati” are the alumni advisory team on the Emoti-Con steering committee. Aluminati members attended Emoti-Con as youth presenters, speakers or audience members when they were in high school and bring this experience as alumni, and as youth innovators and designers to the planning and hosting of each event.

The Emoti-Con Design Fellows are high school students from the Parsons Pre-Scholars program who design the vision/theme an, art/materials for Emoti-Con! Design Fellows work on graphic design projects (signs, t-shirts, flyers) and help teens get prepared to participate. They also help plan the day, coming up with ideas for everything from swag and giveaways to what speakers should be on the stage. On the day of Emoti-Con, the Design Fellows create a brand-new game or design challenge every year that every single person who comes to Emoti-Con participates in.

The Emoti-Con Youth Emcees are middle school students from Global Kids programs. Afterschool before the event, the youth emcees design and practice the entire stage show and script for Emoti-Con, including introductions for each guest speaker and agenda activity. On the day of, they host the event and keep the energy positive, creative and fun!