Who We Are

Mission Statement

The mission of Random Hacks of Kindness Junior, Inc. (RHoKJr) is to empower students to use technology to positively impact the challenges facing local nonprofits in their communities.  We do this by hosting one-day hackathons around the state where students  (4th-8th grade) are paired with computer science mentors and nonprofit representatives to develop prototype smartphone apps for local charities.  

Using an MIT developed coding tool (http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/), students will learn the basics of app design, as well as the ideation and brainstorming process required to build a successful prototype mobile application.  This program requires NO prior coding knowledge and is intended as a code-to-learn tool!.  All students regardless of their computing background are welcome.  At RHoKJr events students participate in  eight hours of highly engaged collaboration


Patrice Gans

President and Executive Director

Patrice Gans is the founder and executive director of Random Hacks of Kindness Junior, a non-profit organization that provides 4th – 8th grade students an opportunity to collaborate with computer science mentors and community subject matter experts to prototype innovative technical solutions for local non-profit organizations’ real-world challenges.

Prior to launching of Random Hacks of Kindness Junior, Ms. Gans taught computer science at Fraser Woods Montessori School in Newtown, CT. She has served on the board of directors of the Computer Science Teachers Association as their national K-8 representative and has written numerous blog entries about her experiences teaching computer science at the elementary and middle school level.

Ms. Gans is passionate about exposing students to coding and computer science concepts as early as possible and has taught age-appropriate computational skills using Scratch and App Inventor.

Tim Slavin


Tim is an award-winning writer and technologist who enjoys teaching tech to non-technical people. He has many years experience with web sites and applications in business, technical, and creative roles. He publishes an online and print magazine, Kids, Code, and Computer Science, which explores computer science and programming for kids, parents, and teachers.


Lucy Tancredi

Lucy is the VP, Director of Information Systems at FactSet, a financial information technology firm. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from MIT and a Master of Education from Harvard with a concentration in Technology in Education. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Fairfield Westchester Society for Information Management, directing their STEM Outreach program which gives back to the local community by supporting programs which contribute to the vitality and continuation of the Information Technology profession.

Trishan de Lanerolle

In 2015 Trishan de Lanerolle joined the Linux Foundation's Collaborative Projects team as Program Manager for the Dronecode Foundation to advance development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. de Lanerolle is a technologist with more than a decade of experience, having led the development efforts of several open source software and mobile-based application projects for disaster management and humanitarian response as well as enterprise software applications. He was co-founder and director of the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Project (HFOSS) at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a founding partner of Nile Point Consulting LLC. He serves on the board of advisers for the Non-Profit FOSS Institute and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Trinity College, and a Master of Science degree in Management of Innovation and Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).


Larry Smotroff, Ph.D.

For over 40 years Larry has worked with organizational leaders to discover solutions for progressive change and capacity building. Leveraging his work in higher education, community and economic development, his current consulting work at Danosky and Associates intersects in the discovery and analysis of the elements of effectiveness in local and national non-profit organizations. He has extensive program development experience, is Dean Emeritus, and has served on local, regional, and national boards and councils. Larry’s interest in Random Hacks of Kindness Jr stem from his long-time involvement with scouting as well as his unique Kids-on-Campus programs that encouraged skill development in 4th -8th grade youth across the arts, science, and technology.

Pauline Lake

Pauline is the Mobile Computer Science Principles (Mobile CSP) project’s Teaching Consultant (www.mobile-csp.org). A 2013 graduate of Trinity College with a double major in Computer Science and Educational Studies, Pauline has been teaching App Inventor to middle- and high-school students in after-school programs in Hartford since 2010. She served as an online mentor in the CS4HS App Inventor course and an online mentor for the Mobile CSP online PD.