Michelle is a self-taught software developer who seeks a deeper understanding of the world and the chance to change it for the better. She aspires to empower women to excel in their lives through technology, which she believes anyone can learn in a welcoming community with strong peer mentorship. With that vision, she founded and is the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Code Scouts.
As a 2012 graduate of the Portland Incubator Experiment (Pie PDX), Michelle is now a mentor lending support to exciting Portland startups. A member of the Python Software Foundation and organizer of the Portland Python User Group, she also speaks and writes about the importance of diversity in tech and tech literacy for everyone. Her essay, "Hack the Planet!" on why tech literacy is critical, was published in American Dreamers, an inspiring anthology of future-thinking works by contemporary visionaries. In 2013 she was listed among Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business, and Entrepreneur Magazine named her one of the 7 Most Powerful Women to Watch in 2014.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)