Join our Team!
Meet Aby Ryan, CEO & FounderAby, CEO & Founder
Aby Ryan founded Athena Camps after a successful career as a professional tennis player, collegiate coach, and non-profit executive. With 30 years of experience coaching and developing programs for girl-serving organizations, Aby specializes in youth program development, curriculum design, and innovative strategies to grow strong, expressive, confident young women.
When her daughter started kindergarten, Aby Ryan saw a need for a special environment where girls could navigate social pressures, build character, and support each other. She realized the time had come to realize her dream of creating a unique girls’ sports camp. So on June 11, 2011, she launched the first Athena Camp with 27 girls. Athena Camps’ attendance quadrupled in our first full year. Since then, Athena Camps continues to grow each year and hopes to serve 5,000 girls by 2025.
Meet the team
Amy Castello created the unique yoga curriculum for all of our Athena Camps and has been our Yoga Coach in our Middle School Camps since 2013. Amy holds teaching certifications in adult and children’s yoga and has studied Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, based on the work of Dr. Jon Kabat–Zinn. She believes in educating the whole person by incorporating breathing exercises, mindfulness, non-competitive games, music, language, anatomy, art and relaxation into her yoga classes. She has discovered that the best part of yoga for many children is their ability to close their eyes, become completely still, and find happiness in the present moment.
MarissaDirector, San Jose
Marissa Pule joined the Athena Team in 2013. She grew up in a big family playing softball, soccer, volleyball and swimming. She later focused mostly on soccer. Marissa teaches PE to first, second and third graders at Recess 101. Marissa also volunteers to coach the basketball and soccer team at her elementary school. Through her years of playing team sports, Marissa learned how to be a leader and more confident, and she hopes to instill those qualities and more in the campers.
LaurenDirector of Operations
Lauren Llama joined the Athena Team in 2016. A Bay Area native, Lauren graduated from Cal State Chico with BS in Finance. Always an athlete maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle, she’s run 10 half marathons including the Women’s Nike in San Francisco 5 times. After 13 years in the finance industry, Lauren found herself passionate about developing young girls’ confidence and self-esteem in a positive environment. Athena Camps was the right fit and Lauren joined the Athena team.
TaliaDirector, Los Altos
Talia Clement joined the Athena Team in 2016. Sports have always been an important part of Talia’s life, while focusing on lacrosse for the past 10 years. She hopes to instill a love of sports and teamwork in the girls who attend Athena Camps, and she foster confidence in every camper. At George Washington University, Talia participates in extra curricular that provide her with a community of strong women such as Kappa Delta Sorority, the GW Pitches, and the Women’s Club Lacrosse Team.
JulianneAssistant Director, San Jose
Julianne Taylor joined the Athena Team in 2016 as a Coach. She is excited to expand her role this summer as an Assistant Director. Sports have helped shape her. Competitive soccer, cross country and swim teams taught her the importance of teamwork and dedication, as well as brought her lifelong friendships. At Gonzaga University, Julianne participated in the intramural department as a supervisor and also worked in local middle schools as a mentoring program student leader. She is so excited to be at Athena Camps and empower young girls.
OliviaAssistant Director, Los Altos
Olivia joined the Athena team in 2018. Olivia is passionate about helping girls build confidence, thus empowering them to impact their world in their own unique way. Growing up playing volleyball, basketball and soccer, she is now a member of the Varsity Women’s Soccer team at Oberlin College. She’s a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, while studying psychology and philosophy with an education studies concentration. She believes that, through sports and teamwork, girls learn to discover and value each other’s strengths and contributions.
Join the team
We are looking for Directors and Coaches to join our team!
Want to make a difference in the lives of girls around the south bay? If you have experience playing sports or a love for the arts and want to help young girls build self-confidence, we would love to hear from you.
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