Sophia: Leading by Example
We had the opportunity to chat with Sophia Fairweather, an 8 year-old entrepreneur and STEM enthusiast from Central Alberta. Sophia’s motto is “leading by example”; she is a firm believer in the use of peer-to-peer mentorship to support and encourage girls to pursue STEM!
1. How old are you?
8 years old
2. How long have you been part of Cybermentor?
A few months
3. Where are you from?
4. When did you first get interested in STEM?
When I was 5 or 6 years old. I wasn’t a fan of doing my coffee business, so I wanted to start a new business that involved STEM. School did not help me foster this interest [in STEM], in fact, it was more of a barrier.
5. If you could have lunch with any famous person in history, who would it be and why?
Supergirl—I was her for Halloween. She is really nice, helps people, and is good at disguises.
6. You have started a few of your own businesses, what inspired you to do this at such a young age?
If we want STEM super stars like Wayne Gretsky or Sidney Crosby then we need a program like Hockey Canada, but STEM or business focused. We should be approaching programs like Hockey Canada because they know how to create superstars. As a role model you can create programs with role models.
My auntie and dad are my role models. You need a program to create results, with results you create outcomes and outcomes create role models. It took me a year to become a role model
7. Can you explain your business venture, “Start Up By Sophia”?
[Start Up By Sophia] is made up of different “Start-Up” businesses. These businesses represent all the letters in STEM.
Science: Wind Shield Band-Aid (Chemistry); Dripless Cups (Physics); Fireworks Icing (Biology)—My brother created this idea and I am helping him.
Technology: DJ top 40—This involves leadership and investing in others.
Engineering: Decals — “Leading by Example”.
Math: A fund managed by the EC Foundation— This involves giving to others and creating leaders.
8. You have had opportunities to present at different events and conferences, has there been a certain event that you enjoyed the most? Why?
The “Business Professional Woman” event in Calgary. I got to meet the lieutenant governor as well as Dr. Alice, who is one of the oldest female engineers in Canada.
9. Has social media played a large role in your business?
Not yet, but I am on twitter and I have over 3000 followers with an average of 300 views a day
10. You have been a supporter of peer-to-peer mentorship, why do you think this is so important?
Because then more girls can know about STEM and more kids will be doing it. Kids listen to kids more than kids listen to adults.
11. What is one piece of advice that you would give someone your age?
Always stay calm when you do a presentation. Also, make sure [people] are not buying [your product] because you’re cute, but because they like [the product].
Be sure to follow Sophia’s journey on twitter to learn more!