IF/THEN Ambassador – Aisha Lawrey, Electrical Engineer

Personal Statement

Hi, I’m Aisha Lawrey and I’m an Electrical Engineer. When I was a kid, I just knew I was going to be a lawyer. I watched shows on TV about Law and it looked glamourous to me. That all changed my junior year of HS, while talking to my geometry teacher. She said, “Do you know what engineering is? I replied, “No.” She explained, “Engineering is using math and science to solve problems. I know you would be a great engineer! But understand, there are not many women or minorities in this field.” That was additional motivation for me to study engineering. Solutions are needed for problems every day, so the world will always need engineers.

In my rewarding career, I got to conduct research, analyzed data, and developed products. I’ve worked at companies, for the government, and taught at a university. I have a family and a personal life. I get challenged intellectually and I’m a role model to girls who look like me. There’s NO LIMIT to what Engineers can do! Give it a try, Girls are Engineers too!

Biography

STEM advocate, Aisha Lawrey, has 20 years of experience on this journey. Working in industry, government, nonprofits, and education she knows how to engage many different stakeholders, at all levels. Her focus is on increasing the number of women and minorities in engineering. Aisha recently joined the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), Inc. as the Senior Director, Programs and Scholarships.

She is responsible for planning, directing and executing all scholarships and program activities. Prior to joining NACME, Aisha was the Director of Engineering Education with the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). She directed and guided the work of ASME in helping to shape the future of mechanical engineering and engineering technology. Aisha obtained a Master of Public Administration and Policy from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. A New Jersey native, Aisha now resides in Maryland with her husband and 12-year-old twins.

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The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.