Founder & President
I am an Indigenous teen entrepreneur, author, educator, and inventor from Troy, MI who founded The STEAM Connection. I have worked in STEAM education since I was ten-years-old and continuously works to increase STEAM educational accessibility, affordability, and diversity for children. I am one of PEOPLE's 2020 Girls Changing the World, a L'Oreal Paris Woman of Worth, and am the mentor of 35 youth robotics teams. I am currently studying electrical and mechanical engineering at university.
Board of Directors
Hi! My name is Shawn Ray and I'm currently a senior in Electrical Engineering. I've worked on research projects ranging from tools for NASA to artificial muscles, and now I'm working to expand STEAM based Indigenous groups on my college campus through organizations such as AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society).
Chief Financial Officer
I am a 4th year Electrical Engineering student at the University of Washington - Seattle concentrating in controls and embedded systems. My favorite robot I've created is an autonomous STEAM robot that had varied movement and display responses to different levels of ambient lighting. Some of my passions include STEAM outreach, interdisciplinary collaboration, and empowering others.
Chief Operating Officer, Secretary
I am a student microbiologist at the University of Washington - Seattle who is studying quorum sensing, a form of bacterial communication that controls gene expression. I am an advocate for STEAM education, having mentored FIRST Robotics Team 4384 Benzene Bots. I am a frequent STEAM instructor, having taught many microbiology and environmental educational classes.
Congrats to Danielle Boyer (Founder) and Shawn Ray (Board Member) for entering the 2021 class of the Clinton Global Initiative University to further the mission of The STEAM Connection, increase the impact of Every Kid Gets a Robot, and to serve Native youth and communities like their own. We are proud of the steps they are taking to further our work and commitments in their everyday lives.
STEAM Girls Ambassadors - Leads
Teen STEAM Changemaker
Aishwarya Arvind, 16
I am currently a senior at International Academy East in Troy, MI. I first was introduced to STEAM through FIRST Robotics Team 4384 Benzene Bots. I was inspired by FIRST and the members on my team, so I began to start my own programs like STEAM Sisters to bring girls into STEAM.
Vinaya Gunasekar, 12
I am a 12-year-old student and future engineer. I am our youngest ambassador here at The STEAM Connection, a dedicated environmental activist, Hands-On Techie Talks co-host with Danielle Boyer, and STEAM enthusiast. My being on a FIRST Robotics team has helped give me the skills to start my own STEAM for the Hospitalized initiative.
Dakshesh Daruri, 17
I am currently a freshman at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor in Electrical Engineering. I have been with our organization since day one, seeing Danielle Boyer found the organization and soon stepping in to help with online communications and social media. I am an avid supporter of STEAM education, giving frequent lectures and teaching classes for The STEAM Connection.