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Join our Team!

Meet Aby Ryan, CEO & Founder

Aby, CEO & Founder

Aby Ryan founded Athena Camps in 2011 after a successful career as a professional tennis player, collegiate coach, and non-profit executive. With over 35 years of experience coaching and developing programs for girl-serving organizations, Aby specializes in leadership, curriculum design, and innovative strategies to grow strong, expressive, confident girls and women.

With her daughter Jordan started kindergarten, Aby Ryan saw a need for a place where girls could navigate social pressures, build character, and support each other. She realized the time had come to implement her dream of creating a girls’ sports camp.  After meeting with her God daughters, Sara (10) and Julia (8) over hot chocolate at Starbucks, Athena Camps – Sports and Crafts for Girls – was born.   June 11, 2011, she launched the first Athena Camp with 27 girls. Athena Camps’ attendance quadrupled in the year. Since then, many of our campers have become staff at Athena, including Jordan.  Athena Camps continues to grow each year and hopes to serve 5,000 girls by 2025.

Recently, Aby Brayton Ryan was selected as one of 101 people in DE.CODED – A HUMAN ATLAS OF SILICON VALLEY.  De.coded is an exploration of 101 remarkable change makers from Silicon Valley commissioned by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. This multi-media book was built on a year-long nomination process where a group of local grassroots leaders and researchers nominated extraordinary individuals, from across all their networks and communities, who have made extraordinary contributions to the region and beyond and represent the exceptional diversity of the valley.
The final work brings together the portraits, oral histories and ancestral DNA maps of this remarkable cohort to inspire a deeper understanding of our humanity and the importance of service in our societies.

Meet the team

Marissa Pule

Marissa

Director, San Jose

Marissa Pule joined the Athena Team in 2013. Now entering her 9th season as a Director of Athena Camps, Marissa is also Director of Camp Operations.  In the off season, Marissa is a regional manager with Recess 101, training new coaches while continuing to coach PE to Kindergarten through 5th grade students all over the South Bay. Marissa grew up in a large family (10 siblings) playing softball, volleyball, swimming and her favorite, soccer. Through her years of playing team sports, Marissa learned how to be a leader and more confident, and she hopes to instill those qualities in her Athena campers.

Amy Castello

Amy

Director of Yoga

Amy Castello created the Athena Camps yoga curriculum in 2013 and continues to build upon its success every year as our Director of Yoga. Amy believes in educating the whole person by incorporating breathing exercises, mindfulness, music, anatomy, and art into her yoga classes. She 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. Amy has been teaching group yoga classes at the Central YMCA for over 10 years. She also teaches private yoga sessions for adults and families. Amy trains our Athena Coaches every summer and teaches the Middle School camps. 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.

Sara Hetrick

Sara

Director, Los Altos

Sara Hetrick has been behind the scenes of Athena Camps since it’s founding in 2011. She interned during the first summers of camp and helped design camp curriculum in the years that followed and is so excited to be the Los Altos director this summer! Outside of camp, Sara graduated from UC Davis with a major in Environmental Science and minor in Education. She is currently working for Davis Joint Unified School District as a paraeducator. Growing up, she was a dedicated athlete and competitive swimmer for over 10 years. She continued swimming throughout college and is passionate about supporting girls in sports. Photography, drawing, and reading are other hobbies she loves to do in her free time. She is so excited to create a safe and welcoming camp environment and share her love of sports and crafts this summer at Athena Camps!

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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