About Us

MiParque is being developed by an all-women team led by Pallavi Anderson from Motorola Solutions and Mindy Faber from Open Youth Networks at Columbia College. Students on the team, from Columbia College, IIT and UIC, are mentored by experienced software engineers from Motorola Solutions, Orbitz, Pearson VUE, and Thomson Reuters/Hubbard One.

Mi Parque is an all-volunteer effort.

Team Screenshot 1

Our Story

In early September, Pallavi Anderson reached out to a few of her friends and acquaintances with the offer that she would spend her free time helping young college-age women build an app for the September 30th Community round deadline. One friend pointed her to Mindy Faber, founder of Open Youth Networks. Mindy was quickly able to get a few early-college age women from Columbia College, UIC and IIT very interested. At the same time, Pallavi started hearing from other experienced female developers in Chicago who were also willing to volunteer their time for this.

Mindy has a long history with the Little Village Environmental Justice Group and had already done some projects with them. Coincidentally, around that time, the city announced its purchase of the capped Celotex site and intent to turn it into a park. So after looking at the Placemaking award criteria, Mindy conceptualized and crafted the blueprint for the app’s design and its features. The team then began building the application with additional input being provided directly from the community of Little Village and LVEJO. Together, we built it, iterated, made a video and launched it in three weeks – in time for the September 30th deadline!

We would like to thank Motorola Solutions and Columbia College for their enthusiastic support during the Community round phase of the Apps 4 Metro Chicago competition.

Open Youth Networks

Open Youth Networks is an outreach program at Columbia College Chicago’s Interactive Arts and Media Department. Through mentorship and hands-on training, Open Youth Networks puts young innovators in intergenerational collaboration with industry leaders, artists and designers to create innovative software applications, games, and interaction media that educate, engage and inform. Open Youth Networksworks to shrink the digital participation gap among females in the fields of social media, computer programming, software development and game design and prepare young women to successfully pursue college studies and careers in technology intensive fields. The program achieves this by creating innovative projects with a public purpose and by directly engaging students in a real life team-based experiences that apply technological solutions to real community and social challenges.

Development Team
The all women development team consists of five students from Columbia College’s Interactive Arts and Media Department, Illinois Institute of Technology and University of Illinois at Chicago. The young women are mentored by experienced women software engineers from Motorola Solutions, Pearson VUE, Orbitz, and Hubbard One/Thomson Reuters.

Student Development Team
Elisa Baker, Columbia College
Shauna Martin, IIT
Divya Muppa, UIC
Geena Sondy, Columbia College
Caitlin Wirth, Columbia College

Volunteer Development Team and Mentors
Pallavi Anderson, Senior Staff Research Engineer, Motorola Solutions
Emily Echevarria, Software Engineer, Orbitz
Mindy Faber, Academic Manager, Columbia College
Silvana Favaretto, Designer
Padmini Jyotishmati, Web Developer, Hubbard One/Thomson Reuters
Ji Lucas, Sr. Software Engineer, Pearson VUE
Sheila Miguez, Software Engineer, Orbitz
Lijuan Yang, Software Engineer, Orbitz


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