Each month, we recognize our top volunteer.

EMILY McPHIE ,  January 2018

EMILY McPHIE, January 2018

Long active in the “Tech for Good” space, Emily is a firm believer that learning computer science can be transformative for vulnerable children. Emily works as a Teaching Assistant in the Computer Science department at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studies Communication Design. Emily was named Graphic Design Artist of the Year in 2018 by The Orange County Register. She also enjoys playing trombone in the WashU Wind Ensemble, and her best claim to fame is a YouTube video that has garnered more than a million hits. Find Emily online at emcphie.com.


Ami is a senior at the University of California Irvine (UCI), double majoring in Business Information Management and Computer Science. Her hobbies are volleyball and calligraphy. Ami works at Panasonic Avionics as a Project Management Intern, and serves as the President of UCI’s Circle K, “the premier collegiate community service, leadership development, and friendship organization in the world.” Through UCI, Ami first heard about the opportunity to volunteer with Code Open Sesame, and we are grateful for her service.

AMI PATEL ,  December 2018

AMI PATEL, December 2018


CHIRAG SINGH,  November 2018

CHIRAG SINGH, November 2018

This month we recognize the great service given by 16-year-old Chirag Singh, a junior at Troy High School. Chirag plans to study engineering and/or comp sci in college. In addition to programming, he enjoys soccer and debate. At Troy, he serves as a peer tutor, and will complete an engineering or computer science internship next summer. Regarding OPEN SESAME, Chirag says, “I am happy to be able to have an impact in this way and volunteering through this organization is something I would recommend to anyone.”


This month, we honor 15-year-old Jessica Shaw, a sophomore at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Jessica enjoys playing violin, reading, and helping people. In college, she hopes to study business and psychology. Jessica has been an amazing volunteer since our first session in July of 2016, and says, “I would highly encourage any students to volunteer with Code Open Sesame. I've had a lot of fun and I've learned a lot about coding. It's a good way to give back to the community while also making friends with other teens.” Jessica also does track and field, orchestra, and swim coaching. She is a board member for the Eagles for CHOC club, a member of her school’s Red Cross Club, and an Ambassador for St. Margarita.

JESSICA SHAW,  October 2018

JESSICA SHAW, October 2018


MONSERRAT PALABRICA,  September 2018

MONSERRAT PALABRICA, September 2018

This month, we honor 21-year-old Monsie Palabrica, a 4th year student at University of California, Irvine, studying Computer Science. We are so grateful for all she brings to this program! Monsie loves watching movies, listening to music, going to concerts, and attending hackathons. A friend told her about Code Open Sesame after she saw a post on the WICS Facebook page last summer, and Monsie has been a dedicated volunteer ever since. She is also a peer mentor for the school of ICS as UCI. Monsie says, “I have had so much fun volunteering with Code Open Sesame! The kids are so awesome to work with and I always enjoy my time with them. I can't wait to see what next year brings!”