Redefining the Future of STEM
To provide underrepresented students with STEM access and education through robotics engineering and computer science. We also aim to develop soft skills like leadership, teamwork, oral presentation, and written presentation.
RYAN MICHAEL DAZA
Ryan "Mike" Daza serves as founder and Executive Director of Capitol City Robotics, Inc, a 501(c) non-profit that serves to expose underrepresented students to robotics and programing. He also is founder and Director of Operations at Capitol City STEM, LLC, a robotics and coding educational program that exposes K-12 students to science and technology while inspiring them to pursue a STEM career. He has a vision of the future that is resonant with diversity and inclusion in the science and technology fields. He sees an environment where people of all ethnicities and genders work together to make STEM a safe and productive place to work and make the world a better place to live.
Mike graduated college from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his Masters at the George Mason University in economics. He worked with professors and lawyers gathering data pertinent to legal cases and publishing articles in political economy. He has published several articles and developed new systems in data collection. With the oncoming notion that technology is the future and his two children coming to elementary age, he decided to take the risk of becoming an entrepreneur and founded two STEM based institutions to better prepare his family and those who traditionally have not been given the chance for this future.
Valerie is a non-profit organization executive with over 15 years of experience in non-profit fundraising, marketing, strategy, and innovation.
Valerie currently works at Challenger Center, a non-profit education organization focused on igniting the potential in K-12 students. Challenger Center develops experiential science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs that inspire over 250,000 students worldwide each year. At Challenger Center, Valerie leads the organization’s efforts to identify and establish strategic partnerships with individuals, corporations, foundations, schools, and government entities. She also leads in the development of the organization’s long-term strategy, including the development of new revenue streams that support Challenger Center’s educational mission. Ms. Fitton-Kane is the staff liaison to the Board Development and Governance Committee and the Strategy Committee of the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Senior Leadership team, providing direction on all strategic and operational issues to ensure an effective and coordinated effort to meet Challenger Center’s goals.
Prior to joining Challenger Center, Valerie managed innovation projects at Oxfam GB, led fundraising teams at Sabin Vaccine Institute and LIFT, and spent several years as an Information Technology consultant in the private sector. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, a Bachelor of Science in decision and information sciences from University of Florida, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Northeastern University.
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vfittonkane/
Dominique Taylor is the SVP, People Operation at AXIOS, a new media company delivering vital, trustworthy news and analysis in the most efficient, illuminating and shareable ways possible. She believes culture and diversity are key drivers of a company’s success, that both are set in the formative stages of a company's life-cycle and that HR can be a force for good.
After graduating from Georgetown University, she spent the first half of her career as a consultant focused on Workforce Management before making the leap to work “in house” when she joined EverFi, a DC-based Ed Tech company. At EverFi she built out the Talent and Culture function as the company grew from 75 people to over 400, raised a Series C, acquired another company and won a myriad of awards ranging from DC’s Coolest Companies to Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. She then joined 1776 for the opportunity to work with startups and entrepreneurs around the world to inform their culture and diversity strategies at a critical juncture in their company’s life-cycle.
When Dominique is not designing and implementing culture and diversity initiatives, she can be found trying to bring order to the approximately 578,962 Legos her three sons have accumulated in her house. Success has eluded her.
ELIZABETH FUSCALDO CHROUST
Liz Chroust is a strategy and management consultant with nearly 20 years of experience advising private, public sector, and non-profit entities around the world. In this capacity, she works with organizations to develop short and long-term strategies, streamline business operations, better link performance to resources, and effectively engage and connect stakeholder audiences and needs - all in an effort to help organizations and their people to perform at their best. Liz is also a mother of two young boys with ceaseless energy and a zest for life. Their family hobbies include pretty much all sports, traveling, cooking, and helping others. Some of Liz's biggest beliefs center around kindness, inclusion, and exposing her boys to every opportunity available to them. In her "free time," Liz also volunteers within the community, including Junior Achievements, Food Corps DC, and DC Public Schools. Liz, her husband (Casey Chroust), and their sons live in NW Washington DC.
Carrie Warick is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the National College Access Network, a national non-profit member organization focused on empowering communities committed to college access and success so that all students, especially those underrepresented in postsecondary education, can achieve their educational dreams. She leads NCAN’s policy and advocacy work at the federal and state levels to promote policies that support students who are low-income, first-generation, or of color access and succeed in higher education. Carrie believes education is the surest path out of poverty and has worked for over a decade toward that goal.
Carrie holds a Masters of Public Policy, with a concentration in education policy, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and History, both from The George Washington University. While pursuing her Masters, Ms. Warick was a Presidential Administrative Fellow and worked in various areas of communication within GW. She lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two young daughters, and pet stuffed animal and toy veterinary tools than she can count.