In a groundbreaking move, 11-year-old entrepreneur Ava N. Simmons, founder of Team Genius Squad, is gearing up to introduce the Alternative Energy Experiment Kit series at Whole Foods Market stores. The innovative toy brand specializes in American-made science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) toys, utilizing its profits to fund community STEM initiatives and support Ava’s academic pursuits.
Diagnosed with dyslexia in 2021, Ava embraces her learning differences, turning them into unique strengths. Commencing her STEM entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of 7, Ava has been championed by her family, with her 75-year-old grandmother, Mary Lee Foy, serving as her Senior Advisor. Proud parents Terrence and Tita Simmons express their admiration, stating, “We are so proud of Ava for using her learning journey to encourage others.”
Reflecting on the upcoming launch, Ava shares her excitement, saying, “To see STEM toys I developed on the shelf is a dream come true. We are excited to work with Whole Foods Market and make our STEM toys accessible to more families across the country.” Ava, who used STEM to build confidence and overcome learning challenges, aims to inspire other children to believe in themselves and focus on their unique strengths.
Ava’s journey extends beyond retail, as she travels with her “Squad” throughout the year, partnering with community organizations such as Rootle (North Carolina’s PBS Kids Channel), The Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties, The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina, and Marbles Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina. Together, they deliver purposeful play curriculum, continuing to inspire learning and exploration, making a positive impact on children from diverse backgrounds. Team Genius Squad’s commitment to fostering curiosity and education remains unwavering, promising a brighter future for aspiring young minds across the nation.