Born into a 21st century world, today’s children are digital natives, where they use digital media to learn, socialize, and share information.
Meet Ashley Chico, a 16 years old adventurous and dynamic young Latina leader who is engaging her community and inspiring other students to become real agents of change.
She actively volunteers her time to connect with students from underserved schools, where they are exposed to basic concepts of coding through hands-on interactive activities – an opportunity most of them would not have. Many students become excited about fabricating bracelets and other products with a 3-D printer.
The idea is to spark interest in tech and get them excited about learning and thinking of innovative ways to turn their hobbies into business ventures. By engaging them, Ashley hopes to trigger interest in science, technology, engineering, and math activities.
In the case of Ashley, she has focused her attention in developing solutions to real life problems and meeting a critical social need.
Recently, she won the national Bright House Network’s Bright IdeasSTEM For Today’s Youth competition for an idea that would build an electronic registration form for those with disabilities or language barriers. Competition was fierce.
Ideas from around the nation consisted of a watch-like device that alerts medical professionals that seniors are experiencing difficulties, a cast that allows for visual enhancements, and a wireless charger for electric cars.
Despite the intense competition, “Chico HealthCare Software” was selected as the winner. Ashley will now work with a leading innovative product development firm, Fahrenheit 212 of New York on a prototype and business plan.
Hats off to Ashley, for the difference she is making in our community and her unwavering commitment to strengthening the Latino/a talent pipeline in tech. But it’s worth noting that business leaders and community champions, like Bright House, help make these opportunities possible.
Central Florida’s telecomm leader, Bright House Network, invests in our youth and helps them build local economies. They understand the importance of STEM education and building the talent pipeline.
We commend these champions for providing students with the opportunity to continue learning even after the school bell rings.