teacher is instructing two LEARN academy coding bootcamp students how to code


With equal access to knowledge and career development, LEARN academy is teaching a new generation of daring and diverse students to be compassionate, curious and professional web developers.



LEARN’s instruction is as approachable as it is transformative — and our foundational values ensure that our students are set up for success, in all its forms.

Trust the Process.

We believe in the learning process. While your time at LEARN may seem to center on the specifics of terminology or technology, we are equally as dedicated to building up skills in collaboration, community-building, and intentional and ethical coding.

Help Each Other Out.

Building a community requires collective cooperation and partnership over the interests of an individual: Struggling developers deserve our support, teamwork demands trust, and companies are fueled by compassion as much as by competence.

Lean Into the Uncomfortable.

 We teach students to be comfortable with the great unknown — and with failure. Every coder will get an error message one day — it’s how you approach the solution that matters. We encourage a passion for problem-solving above all else.


The web can be a scary place. To combat that, we uphold the value of netizenship: the idea that we are citizens of the web and as such have a civic responsibility and an ethical, moral obligation to each other when using — and building — it.

Active Participation.

We give students the fundamental knowledge and skills in web development — but our real mission is to inspire a commitment to lifelong learning. We seek rigorous engagement and active participation from our students — passivity and apathy can be checked at the door!

Diversity & Inclusion.

LEARN is committed to building an authentically representative and welcoming industry — and disrupting the outdated notion that tech is only for a certain race, gender, or identity.



Chelsea Kaufman

CEO and Co-Founder

With a background in education and business administration, Chelsea runs the show. Her business savvy and educational genius inspire and better those around her. She has managed a theater company, taught corporate team building and taken part in almost every part of the theatrical process. Chelsea is really the boss, but don’t tell her we said that.

Rob Kaufman


Swears he started learning development skills at age 2 and has never wanted to do anything else. Rob’s been working in Ruby since 2003, Rails since 2005 and still trying to learn a new programing language every year. Rob founded Notch8, a Rails consultancy in 2007, and has loved both working with clients and teaching new developers at every step of the way.

Adam Cuppy


Adam is the President of LEARN academy and Co-Founder of the Software Residency. He’s an Ironman, keynote speaker, industry leader, and father. Adam began his career as a professional actor and found his way into tech entrepreneurship and inclusive education. He’s performed for the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, ran brand strategy for Dutch Bros. Coffee as well as co-founded Define Your Edge.

Instruction Team

Sarah Proctor

Director of Academic Experience

Sarah is passionate about creating a welcoming, inclusive learning space for people making the transition into a career in technology. She attended LEARN Academy in 2018, making the jump into tech from a non-technical background and actively helps others do the same. She strives to inspire students to step outside their comfort zones and embrace personal growth along with learning the fundamentals of development.

Tricia Sykes

Lead Instructor

Having made the career leap with the help of LEARN, Tricia brings passions for coding, change, and service to others. Her prior career as a health and wellness coach allowed her to help diverse populations improve their lives and themselves. She is thrilled to continue this journey by sharing her coding skills and experience with future developers. She is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community that changed her life. An avid music and sports fan, you can often find her jamming out on her keyboard, dancing at live shows, or cheering on her favorite teams.

Elyse Montano

Lead Instructor

Elyse is passionate about technology, helping people, and being a part of their journey as they pursue a new career in software development.  Her love for collaboration and problem solving led her to LEARN Academy in 2021.  She values each person’s unique experiences and how they can be applied to the tech industry.  Along with that, Elyse strives to make learning fun, exciting and transformational.

Charlean Baxter

Lead Instructor

Charlean is a Navy Veteran and former Respiratory Therapist who graduated from our Delta 2021 Cohort. She was seeking more than a new career. She wanted a chance to be more creative and have a voice within a team; all these desires were met within the structure of LEARN Academy. Transitioning from a Full Stack Web Development student to an instructor is a highlight of her coding journey. She looks forward to helping students chisel out the “not” in the “I don’t know” and “I can’t.” She believes in using the fears, mistakes, and challenges as teaching tools and fuel to push forward to success.

Nicole Mares Rivera

Associate Instructor

Nicole is originally from the “Big Apple”, NYC. After traveling around the world with the US Navy for the past 6 and a half years, she is settling into San Diego quite nicely. Shortly after separating from the Navy, she found LEARN Academy and bravely took the leap of faith into a new career field. After graduating from LEARN Academy she found a true passion for coding and an opportunity to fulfill her desire to help others by being a part of an amazing team. She is an animal aficionado with a plethora of animal fun facts she is just waiting for you to ask her about!

Gene Martinez

Associate Instructor

Gene is an Army Veteran originating from Los Angeles. After attending LEARN Academy, he felt right at home with the tech community he found. Loves working with new people and embracing the process of becoming a software developer. Now he is enthusiastic about assisting individuals who are seeking to transition into the tech industry. He is an avid sports fan and loves exploring new places through traveling. Who knows where he might currently be!

Will Williams

Associate Instructor

Will is a San Diego transplant originally from Virginia and Marine Corps Veteran. After four years of service, she found herself searching for a new career path. Thanks to pandemic-induced internet rabbit holes, she stumbled upon and fell in love with the captivating world of software development, and it didn’t take her long to find LEARN. The atmosphere and approach to learning stole her heart, and she was hooked. Graduating from LEARN fueled her passion for helping others on their coding journey. Now, her mission is to make the process of learning code an exhilarating and enjoyable experience for everyone who dares to embark on this exciting adventure.

Chris Lee

Assistant Instructor

Chris is an Army Veteran from New Jersey. He started his journey at LEARN in 2022, eventually graduating with the Hotel 2022 cohort. During his time as a student, he discovered a passion for coding and the overall mission that LEARN offers to the world and the community that is continuing to grow. Shortly after graduation, he took a role in the Instruction team, where he can actively contribute to the LEARN mission and give back to the wonderful community every day!

Administration Team

T.J. Kidder

Director of Marketing and Communications

T.J. is a San Diego native and a proud San Diego State alumnus. He brings 8 years of digital marketing experience to the team, with a drive for creating and developing omnichannel marketing campaigns, and specializing in digital marketing, web design, and graphic design.

Kumba McGill

Alumni Success Manager

Kumba strongly believes in empowering people to create their next best opportunity in life. She has over five years of enrollment management expertise specifically in the field of higher education. Kumba is also very passionate about social impact and has previously worked with non profits in the states and in West Africa. She holds a Masters Degree from the University of San Diego. At LEARN, every day Kumba looks forward to finding and enrolling the next generation of web developers!

Vanessa Nuño

Operations Manager

Vanessa is a bit of a traveler; having lived in a few places around the world but has always come back to San Diego, CA where she grew up. She has an extensive background in organization within local businesses but really just loves to find ways to contribute to the diverse community she originally comes from. You can find her walking her pups Zooey and Peanut in the various local trails in San Diego or hanging out at our current coworking location on Ivy Street.

Chantelle Isaacs

Internship Program Manager

Having lived all over the world, Chantelle has settled on San Diego as home – for now. Her many years working in Ed Tech, and experience as a LEARN 2020 alumna, have made her an expert in student journeys and how educational experiences can grow and shape a person’s life. When she’s not tracking down our next amazing internship partner, you can find her with her son and dog in a nearby park, binge watching an old season of Survivor, or working on developing her San Diego city-wide treasure hunt.

Marquista Davis

Enrollment Manager

Marquista is a leader interested in solving problems and building high-performing teams with individuals who are pushed to develop professionally and personally. She’s been consulting with others to solve business challenges and building and leading high-performance teams in various capacities for over 20 years. She brings a passion for data science and analytics in the sales and marketing context to the LEARN team. Marquista is an experienced sales leader with a demonstrated history of working in the education technology industry. She loves reading, dancing, traveling, and solving word, logic, and number puzzles.

Britney Clark

Partnerships Manager

Britney brings seven years of community outreach, SaaS business development, and project management experience to her role as Partnerships Manager at LEARN. Her mastery in collaboration and problem-solving led her to LEARN Academy in 2022. When she’s not sourcing new Software Residency and Internship partners, she enjoys chasing her toddler around, sharing a laugh with her husband, and working from local coffee shops.

Paul Hutchinson

Career Readiness Facilitator

Hailing from Manchester, UK, Paul has lived in San Diego for over 12 years. Throughout his professional career, he has been involved in education with over 2 decades in the classroom, teaching people of all ages. A graduate of a code school himself, the position of Career Services Coordinator allows for his passion for technology and for helping people realize their full potential. Paul is a very undiscerning sports fan, supporting some absolutely terrible teams. He loves to discover new music, watch live shows, to travel, independent cinema and read PG Wodehouse.

Vanessa Bastien

Community Engagement Specialist

Vanessa is a San Diego native with a history of choosing non-traditional paths. She is passionate about personal and professional development and loves supporting the students in their efforts to make such a significant life change. An eclectic individual, she loves nothing more than diving deep into a new hobby – currently, she’s working on learning about sewing clothes and bags! When she’s not curling up with a good book or working on hobbies, she’s with her two children – painting, singing, or playing outside in the beautiful weather.


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