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.


Alexandra Bennett, Director of Art and Design Pre-College Programs at Parsons School of Design.

Alex is an education enthusiast. She holds degrees in English Literature and Secondary Education and has taught in the Kansas City School District, Haiti, India, and Uganda. In 2011 Alex joined The New School’s Writing Program, where she obtained her MFA in Creative Writing and won the Paul Violi Poetry Prize. She is the Small Press Editor for Boog City newspaper, and her own writing has appeared in various publications. Alex directs the Art & Design Pre-College Program and teaches writing at Parsons School of Design. Learn more about the Pre-College Program here: https://www.newschool.edu/parsons/pre-college-acad….

Elizabeth Bishop, Director of Curriculum and Outcomes Evaluation at Global Kids

Bishop is an educator, researcher and youth advocate. She holds a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Pittsburgh, a MST in Adolescent Education from Pace University, a MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in Planned Studies from Ithaca College. Previously, Bishop worked on faculty at Ithaca College, as Deputy Director at the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School and as Assistant Director of the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Originally from Newtown, Connecticut, she began her career as a classroom teacher in the Bronx and has taught and served in leadership positions across NYC public schools and youth development organizations. Besides her work at GK, Bishop also teaches on the faculty of the Youth Studies Program at the CUNY School of Professional Studies and directs the Drop Knowledge Project where she conducts research on literacy and activism. Her first book “Becoming Activist: Critical Literacy and Youth Organizing” was released by Peter Lang in 2015 and her second book “Embodying Theory: Epistemology, Aesthetics and Resistance” will be out in 2018.

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.

Alex Fleming, Learning Design Manager at Mouse

Alex is a member of the second graduating class of the original High Tech High school in San Diego, Alex is a DIY media maker and game designer who loves tech of all kinds. Alex previously worked for Boston non-profit HOME Inc. as a Media Lab Coordinator and holds a B.A. in Sociology and Theatre Arts with high honors from Brandeis University. A former magician, Alex retired from magic in 2013.

Mickell Ford, 2018 Emoti-Con Aluminati member.

Bio coming soon.

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 Emoti-Con Aluminati member

Amanda is a sophomore studying mathematics at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She first participated in Emoti-Con in 2014 where she and her Mouse Corps design team with 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 volunteered at 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, Associate Director of Learning Design 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 10+ 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.

Christin Velazquez, 2018 Emoti-Con Aluminati member

Christin was born and raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn. While in high school he was a part of the A-Team, a group of teens who helped set up and host Emoti-Con. He continues to attend the yearly event as a representative of Eyebeam. After graduating high school he decided the best thing for him to do was to dive headfirst into the film industry. So he attended the Made in New York Production Assistant training program, a rigorous six week course where he learned the ins and outs of movie and television production. He now works freelance and is a freshman at BMCC. His favorite things include the DC Fables comics, video game collecting, and basketball.


The Emoti-Con Design Fellows are the youth who make Emoti-Con happen! Design Fellows work on graphic design projects (signs, t-shirts, flyers), post on social media to spread the word and get people excited, 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.