Armando Seay is Co-Founder and a Director of the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute (MISI) and its Columbia Maryland based DreamPort Cyber Mission Accelerator. The facility is the nerve center of some of the most important advances in cyber technology and a center for training and conferences on topics such as election integrity, Artificial Intelligence, cyber critical infrastructure defense research and much more. The facility houses the region’s premier STEM mentoring and internship program in almost 40,000 SQFT of collaboration, conference and lab space. Mr. Seay is an entrepreneur who prior to Co-Founding MISI and its DreamPort program and facility, co-founded a technology company that was sold almost 4 years ago.
Kathy Seay is one of our Imagine STEM event Chairs, and she was formerly the CEO and CFO of technology systems and cyber engineering firm she co-founded with her husband. Mrs. Seay is Vice President of the nonprofit International Black Woman’s Public Policy Institute, which by the way honored Urban One’s, Cathy Hughes.
The news is full of stories about young people who are what we call organically smart, they were born as we all are with natural talent and drive but just do not know how to apply it towards college and or employment.
Less than 24% of women are represented in careers in STEM and statistics say that most young ladies drop out of considering a career in STEM at age 8 if they do not get mentoring and inspiration to stick with a pursuit of the skills, training or education needed to enter the field of STEM.
When it comes to the STEM field of Cybersecurity only 11% of women are represented and when you tease out the demographics women of color represent microscopic numbers in one of the worlds and definitely the DMV’s largest employment opportunity due to the shortage of available and skilled employees.
There are many excuses but fewer mountain movers when it comes to helping to get young people from all walks of life but especially young women and young women of color engaged and connected to the region’s best STEM programs. The excuses range from, young women are not interested in STEM, the inner city schools do not prepare young women or for that matter young men well enough to compete for STEM programs as compared to young students from suburban and private schools. It’s to much trouble to get inner-city kids out to the best STEM programs many though not all that is located in the suburbs. It costs twice as much to mentor inner-city kids in STEM as they lack the fundamentals.
Both Mr. Seay and Mrs. Seay are products of inner-city schools. In his younger years, Mr. Seay was an example of that young kid with organic skills, drive and mental acumen needed to succeed in a STEM career, he co-founded a multi-million dollar technology company that employed many highly skilled employees around the world. He successfully developed code and managed and designed solutions for clients worth millions of dollars.
Mrs. Seay, who is also a product of inner-city schools, was recruited by the National Security Agency right out of high school, she got her A. A. and Bachelors degree in computer science and technology and holds a Project Management Professional certification and has and does manage technology programs worth millions of dollars. Mrs. Seay was also the CEO and CFO of her company and is an expert in government financial accounting for government contractors.