Author Spotlight: Breenae Washington

I am always excited about black women in tech and engineering. So I was super excited to come across your book and see that you are an engineer yourself. What motivated you to start a career in the field of engineering?

Thank you so much! I get the same excitement when I meet other STEM/STEAM professionals, especially engineers because representation is so important for people of all ages to see. I was encouraged to start a career in engineering by my 8th-grade science teacher Ms. Sanford. She noticed I was good at math and science and often encouraged me to look into a career in engineering. Before she planted the seed, I had no clue what an engineer was or did. After a little research, and hearing how highly everyone spoke of engineers, I was sold. However, with it being a predominately white male-dominated field, many people laughed when I shared my desired career path. The idea of overcoming that exact doubt and adversity became my biggest motivation. I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could do it, and show other girls that they could too.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the “Show Me State” of St. Louis, MO. I travel often, but there is no place like home.

What pushed you to create a children’s book?

I have always had a desire to help bridge the gender and diversity gap on STEM/STEAM due to my personal experiences. But I got the extra push when I became an aunt. When my niece was born I wanted to expose her to every opportunity I could so that she didn’t have to stumble into STEM as I did. Unfortunately, like many girls, she couldn’t relate to any of the toys or resources that were on the market for children her age and she wasn’t remotely interested. One thing we could connect on was her love of books! So, I had the idea to write about the concepts I wanted her to love, in a format that she already did and the rest is history.
Did you always know you wanted to become an author someday? A lot of people have stories but it takes a lot of follow through to publish the story.

I have always wanted to write a children’s book, even before this one, but I was nervous about finding the perfect illustrator to bring the story to life. I found the courage to follow through with this project because it was important for me to practice what I had been preaching. I would always tell my niece that she could do anything she put her mind too, and here I was letting a little fear derail my dreams. Knowing that she was eagerly watching, I found a way.

Do you intend to publish more books in the future?

Absolutely. This first book gives readers a small adventure about each concept, but I plan to make this story into a series and dive deeper into the subjects. It was important for me to introduce it that way so that kids would have a foundational level of understanding before we went too deep. The STEAM Queens is written for girls, but boys play a major role in changing the narrative, and minority boys are just as underrepresented as girls in many respects. Future stories will address some of those issues.

What advice do you have for children who aspire to become authors or engineers?

I would tell children who aspire to become authors or engineers, that the sky is truly the limit. Be fearless and dream big, you will change the world.

You can connect with the author via the following links:
Website | | Instagram | | Amazon

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