about us

Hello, world!

My name is Monica (Nano), a computer scientist passionate about teaching kids how to code.

Before I tell you about myself, I am so happy and thankful you decided to check our page.

I was born in Guatemala but raised in California. My childhood consisted of playing outside, having messy hair, getting my clothes dirty, and always falling asleep doing homework.

In 2013 I got accepted into Cal Poly Pomona, with no major declared I began my college career. I decided to attend a computer science meeting and get information on the major. I had never heard about computer science and growing up I was never exposed to any STEM-related activities or anything in particular but hey! Why not major in computer science.

Little did I know, after finishing my first coding class… I wanted to quit! I was one of three girls in my class and staring at a black screen with lines of code was not for me. I sought advice from family members and advisors but really all I wanted was to change majors.

One day, I received an email about an all-female engineer conference that would take place in Mountain View. I decided to sign up and attend the conference not knowing what was ahead of me.

At the conference, I met other girls who were feeling the same way and I knew that was a normal feeling. I left the conference extremely motivated and ready for what was ahead of me.

Monica Say from code with nano
Monica Say from code with nano

When I returned to school an advisor told me I didn’t belong in computer science, a professor who asked me to give up my seat to someone who was enrolled in class, can you imagine? And did I mention I failed courses?

It was quite a challenge but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my degree and being the first woman in my family to graduate from college with a computer science degree. I had many obstacles along the way but I had an amazing support system from family members and other staff from Cal Poly who helped me.

Like myself, many kids are not exposed to computer science yet.

That’s why I started Code With Nano. Our mission is to give back and help our next generation of kids and expose them to computer science. Just like many people helped me, we want to plant a seed and wake up curiosity in our future techies.

but wait...

who is

nano logo with a question mark

In the spring of 2015, my family was going through a hard time financially. I decided not to enroll in classes the following quarter and instead find a job that would help my parents and essentially help me get back in school. However, sometimes things don’t go the way we plan and greater things are right around the corner.

It was the first week of fall quarter and I remember receiving an email from admissions reminding me about the add/drop period in which I wasn’t planning on attending so I ignored the email.

A couple of days later I received another email from admissions but this time it was a little different. The email said, “We noticed you haven’t registered and we would like you to know that we are here to help.” When I read “we are here to help” I wondered “what if I email back and maybe I don’t have to skip the quarter.”

Monica Say from code with nano
Monica Say from code with nano with computer

Long story short, I was able to register for fall quarter, got all my classes, and on top of that I got hired at a summer camp at school in which I have to be honest, I had zero experience in teaching but I said yes to the job.

For three years I spent my summers working at this science camp in which I led the Computer Camp. As camp counselors, we were given nicknames based on our major and personality. Can you guess my camp name? That’s right it was “Nano”. Nano Byte to be exact.

One thing I learned from this experience is that help is out there! We just need to look for it. I will forever be thankful for everyone who has helped me be where I am today. I’m passionate about giving back and helping others have a brighter future.

At Code With Nano, we believe in planting a seed and waking up curiosity in our future techies!

what the parents of my students say about the courses
“My kids enjoy coding with Monica, they find it fun, interesting and useful. Easy to follow along because she uses familiar games. My kids continue to code after class is over”.


“Monica has a warm personality, she is patient and encouraging. My kid looks forward to the weekly classes and we will likely continue on with her”.