January 18, 2023

Meet The Black Authors Inspiring Black Youth To Pursue Careers In STEM

For the tech industry to achieve true diversity, more children need to see people like themselves in the sector. For many youngsters, media representation has a long-lasting impact on how they see and understand the world of today – which is why representation is so important. 

According to a report by Common Sense, approximately 65% of parents say that the media significantly impacts their children’s professional aspirations.

To manifest a world where more Black people are entering high-paying careers, tech leaders have decided to use the gift of writing to encourage more young children to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

Sasha Ariel Alston 

Sasha Ariel Alston, founder of ‘Sasha Savvy Loves To Code

Sasha A. Alson, president and CEO of Sasha Ariel Ventures, is the author of ‘Sasha Savvy Loves To Code.’ The book explores the story of an intelligent 10-year-old Black girl who lives in Washington, DC. 

Her mom signs her up for a summer coding camp, and even though she is reluctant to go, she manages to convince her two best friends to join her. From dealing with computing errors and bugs, Sasha tries to find new ways to deal with the challenges. Her mum – who also happens to be a software developer – gives her a unique formula to help her remember how to code, which proves to be extremely helpful. 

Dr. Arlyne Simon

Dr. Arlyne Simon, author of ‘Olivia’s Doctor Adventures’

Dr. Arlyne Simon, a biomedical engineer, is the author of the children’s book, ‘Olivia’s Doctor Adventures.’ The book explores the world of medicine in a digestible way to make it easier for children to understand. 

The book takes readers on a journey with Dr. Olivia as she learns about surgeons, cardiologists, pediatricians, and medical keywords. 

‘Olivia’s Doctor Adventures’ has been described as an excellent STEM book for children aged 4-8. It sparks their interest in the medical field and seeing someone who looks like them plants a seed of possibility that they could also become a doctor someday. 

Valerie Thompkins 

Valerie Thompkins, author of ‘Girls Like Me’

Valerie Thompkins, project manager and author of the children’s book ‘Girls Like Me’ is passionate about showing young Black girls that anything is possible. 

“This easy-to-read story is designed to shape the future for readers and encourage them to begin exploring occupations at an early age,” said author Valerie Thompkins.  

Her recent picture book – which she wrote while working as a project manager at the Federal Reserve Bank – explores the many different careers and avenues children can pursue in STEM. It follows the journey of a curly-haired girl who explores a new role on each page. 

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.