In honor of International Women in Engineering Day 2020, we celebrate the impressive career of Donna Auguste. From electrical engineering student facing obstacles at every turn, to CEO of a of a multi-million dollar company and head of a community-focused philanthropic organization, Donna Auguste has accomplished so much. Check out this interview with Donna Auguste from the National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Donna Auguste founded Freshwater Software, Inc. in 1996 to provide companies with tools that would help them monitor and enhance their presence on the Internet. She served as CEO of Freshwater until she sold it in 2000 for $147 million. She went on to found the Leave a Little Room Foundation, LLC, a philanthropic organization that helps to provide housing, electricity, and vaccinations to poor communities around the world. Even as a young girl Donna’s interest in technology and engineering was clear; she used to take apart household appliances just to see how they worked. With support from her family she attended the University of California at Berkeley, where some male students refused to work with her on project teams and one professor told her that she had been allowed into Berkeley only because the admissions standards had been waived. However, Donna earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Cal and went on to become the first African American woman in the PhD program at Carnegie Mellon University.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.