Hey again! My name is Spiffy, I’m an interplanetary journalist and education enthusiast. Today we’re talking about someone who works with a lot of students. Let’s meet Oscar Pedroso, founder and CEO of the STEM start-up, Thimble
Spiffy: Hey Oscar, I am thrilled to talk to you. Tell me, what’s your mission?
Oscar: It’s great to be here Spiffy! Our mission at Thimble is to inspire and train tomorrow's tech leaders — one child at a time.
Spiffy: That’s stellar! What were some of the big motivating factors to launch Thimble?
Oscar: Getting an education was a big deal in my household. Neither of my parents attended college, so it was even more important that their two kids grow up with more opportunities to succeed. After college, I worked as a grant writer and raised funds to support various public health initiatives. I found the area that needed the most support in communities was access to education. Thimble serves students who have never been exposed to robotics or engineering and prepares them with skills for the digital economy.
Spiffy: How is Thimble working towards creating a more equitable world?
Oscar: Well, Spiffy, 50% of our students are girls who are learning robotics, coding, and engineering skills. 30% of our students are people of color (Black, African American, Latino). It's all about creating awareness, support, and inspiration.
Spiffy: Are there any notable milestones you’ve achieved?
Oscar: Yes! We've served more than 15,000 students nationwide who are receiving instruction in engineering, robotics, and computer science. Many of these students do not have access to high-quality STEM education in their schools or communities.
Thimble partnering with after-school community programs. (Photo courtesy of Oscar Pedroso)
Spiffy: I’m curious, have you ever had an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up? What did you learn from failure?
Oscar: Back in 2014, over 50 investors declined to invest in our idea for Thimble. So we took matters into our own hands and created a Kickstarter campaign which raised just shy of $300,000. Failures and “no’s” are nothing more than fuel to motivate the soul — essential and part of the journey. The sooner you realize that, the better off you'll be to overcome them.
Spiffy: That sounds like a crucial lesson! What is something unexpected you’ve learned recently?
Oscar: It's easy to try and compare yourself and your accomplishments to others. But I've learned that what everyone else is doing and how they got there is none of my business. We each have our own story and path to follow.
Spiffy: Well, Oscar, our time is almost up. Is there anything else you would like to tell our audience?
Oscar: Yes, Spiffy! We believe that education starts at home. Unfortunately, most parents don’t know what kind of educational products and experiences to provide their children to pique their curiosity in STEM. It’s a big problem when kids today don’t know what engineering or computer science even means. We experienced this when we were kids. So we made it a mission of ours to ensure all students (regardless of background) are aware of the many educational paths and career opportunities that exist. So many kids have the potential to be the next Elon Musk and we’re going to help make that happen!
Spiffy: I can’t wait to meet the ones that come from Thimble! Thanks for sharing your vision, Oscar, it’s been an honor!
Oscar Pedroso | Founder and CEO of Thimble | dad | ed-tech entrepreneur | former college admission officer | love my roots — Viva Honduras! (Nominated by StartOut)