Elaina Ashton: Arizona’s 18 Under 18 Award


Image: https://www.jaaz.org/nominations-for-18-under-18-open-now/

Arizona’s 18 Under 18 Award Program presented by Junior Achievement granted senior, Elaina Ashton, a very prestigious award. This organization is dedicated to all students, under the age of eighteen, who are a part of or started nonprofits, built small businesses, created networks, and solved problems. They are those who indulge in making a change in the world, and have the integrity to always work hard. Please be sure to check out all of Elaina’s accomplishment at this link: https://www.18under18.org/#lp-pom-block-328

Image taken from https://www.18under18.org/?utm_source=localiq&utm_medium=email

I asked Elaina to explain and express her gratitude about her amazing work.

Q: How did you discover this program?
A: I had already known of Junior Achievement as they had established their program at my elementary school when I was younger. However, I was notified of the award by a mentor and was encouraged to apply.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you found out that they granted you this award?
A: I was very grateful and excited to receive such a prestigious award.
Q: Can you share a little bit about yourself and how Education Empowers came about?
A: I started participating in both robotics and community service in 6th grade through my mother and FLL (First Lego League Competition). As we continued volunteering, we noticed there was a need and want for robotics teams and curriculum in both schools, and throughout the community. Education Empower’s mission is to bring STEM, Robotics, and sustainability education for underrepresented and underserved children in our community. We achieve our mission through programs such as Train the Trainer, where we train community volunteers and teachers from various Title 1 schools on Robotics curriculum, Instructing Robotics curriculum to Girl Scouts and Boys & Girls clubs, and finally, creating after-school robotics clubs in both schools and Boys & Girls clubs. Our program and curriculum are currently in 40 locations in Arizona, are being taught for more than 250 girl scouts robotics, and have started to branch out to California, Oregon, and India this year.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: I hope to see myself achieving great things in college and continuing to make an influential difference within my community. I also want to continue to grow as an individual regarding both my leadership and soft skills, as well as continuing to learn more technical skills.
Q: What advice would you give to all the other teen entrepreneurs?
A: My advice would be to continue giving it your all and to take advantage of every opportunity offered. By dedicating hard work and focus, you can aid yourself in both your journey towards your goals, as well as your growth as an individual and leader.
Congratulations and thank you so much Elaina for all your accomplishments and taking the time to do this interview. Your passion, focus, and drive, is what has inspired to so many people to do robotics. Also, be sure to check out the recent publication of the SanTan Sun News for winning SWE Action Innovator Award from the Society of Women Engineers- https://issuu.com/timespub/docs/0315_stsn/44
Congratulations Elaina!