Today we’d like to introduce you to Aisha L. Flores.
Aisha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am Aisha Flores, I am a Developer, Engineer, Creative, wife and mom. Growing up I remember my mother having these books, that I used to sneak to read, that had funny looking symbols (electronics symbols). My mother was taking courses she needed so she could get a better job. She had been working with AT&T since she was 17 years old (It was called Western Electric back then).
I always wanted to know more about the funny symbols in her books, but we never learned about these things in school. Reading her books made me curious about my electronics (my clock radio and such), so I used to take my electronics apart to try to figure how they worked and what the parts were. I remember wanting to learn more about electronics, but there were no programs or anyone teaching what I wanted to learn.
Being a woman of color in the technology industry, I have experienced adversity and various challenges. I want more than anything to help girls understand that they can explore their interests, to not be afraid, try new things and never give up no matter what challenges they encounter.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My interests have always put me in a space where I was alone. I was in technical theater in high school, There were only two girls in this high school major. So I had an early start dealing with being the only female in a mostly “boys club”. In college, there were only five females in my cohort for engineering. My first job out of college (ironically at AT&T), there were three females out of 20 technicians in my department. I primarily have been one of few, or the only female in the various departments and companies that I’ve worked for, and often times the only woman of color.
These experiences have helped me see the need to have a safe space for girls to learn and practice technology. There is a different dynamic at play when a girl has to overcome her fears, insecurities or social issues with the opposite gender, and I didn’t want those issues to interfere with learning about technology. I decided to create Buttercup STEAM as a place where I would have wanted to go as a child, to explore and learn things that interest me.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Buttercup STEAM Camp – what should we know?
Buttercup STEAM Camp is a unique week-long adventure for girls to learn, build and code in a fun and supportive environment. Students work hands-on creating Steampunk themed projects that incorporate elements of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics). It is our primary mission to reduce the gender and racial gap in technology professions by inspiring girls and girls of color with an adventurous and memorable introduction to coding and engineering.
There are plenty of studies and research these days about the need for STEM and STEAM in schools and that there is a gender and racial gap in the Tech industry. The need is there. My unique value is offering a summer camp for girls in Metro Atlanta and incorporating Arts into our program. Not just crafts or fun side projects, but using our creativity while working with tech. My husband is an artist and we integrate arts, creativity and “the artlife” into everything we do. We bring arts and tech together in a beautiful way that makes it fun for everyone.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have to give thanks and credit to my husband and business partner, Daniel Flores. He has been instrumental in helping to implement and facilitate a dream of mine. Buttercup STEAM is my way of giving back to the community, sharing my knowledge, experiences and gifts, and fulfilling a need for the girls in our community in the STEM. I would not have been able to startup Buttercup STEAM without him.
I am forever grateful for his help. I also would like to give credit to our sponsors, SAM Flax Art especially, for their commitment to provide a venue for STEM + Arts (STEAM) for the children in our community. Our other major sponsors Deborah Gonzalez, Esq, Letterbox Legal, Velocity Screenprint, and Chozen Media. Last but not least, I must give credit to my interns and volunteers. I could not do this work without them.
- Address: 1745 Peachtree St NE, Suite G, Atlanta, GA 30309
- Website: https://www.buttercupsteam.io
- Phone: 404.919.9411
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/buttercupsteam/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buttercupsteam
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/buttercupsteam