Sharen Eddings is a Detroit, Michigan-based self taught coder who understands what an important skill coding is. At first she began teaching kids how to code, volunteering at her son’s school and teaching students there. But those classes quickly grew into a full fledged business: Code With Sharen. Eddings has developed her very own STEM E-Learning software which will soon be implemented in five school districts and recently she has also pivoted her target audience: not only is she offering classes to youth and school academies, now she’s teaching adults to code as well.

Eddings’ story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

We offer 1-Hour Daily Live STEM Coding Lessons for parents, youth organizations, and school academies. Who all want kids and students to reduce their gaming time to learn a powerful 21st century skill-set. That teaches them how to produce technology, instead of consuming it!

I’m is a self-taught coder who after 8 months of teaching myself how to code landed my first job in tech. After a year and a half, I became project manager over two radar development teams for Danlaw Inc. an automotive software engineering company located in Novi, Michigan. I wanted everyone to learn how to code and to be able to do the same. So I started volunteering at my son’s school in Detroit to teach him and his classmates how to code. I saw a gap in the market and the need for a better STEM E-Learning Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. So, I developed my own STEM E-Learning software while facilitating pilot programs in several schools. We pivoted to B2C and a new target market (parents) when schools closed down during the pandemic.

[Related: She Understands the Importance of Getting Women Involved in Tech]

My definition of success is to be so valuable that it’s hard to replace or copy you and to take that value and empower others with it. My biggest success so far is acquiring our first major contract where we are set to implement out STEM E-Learning software into five school districts.

Our biggest challenge so far is finding creative ways to raise funding due to the fact that black female entrepreneurs only receive 1% of funding. I figured that I would do a fundraiser. Unfortunately, after three failed crowdfunding campaigns I pivoted to applying for grants and pitch competitions where I have seen a lot of success.

[Related: Her Nonprofit’s Name and Message Are the Same: Buy From a Black Woman]

Starting a business as a married working mom of three kids was and is tough even though two of them are now grown. Moms are already busy and filled with mother’s guilt from things we wish we would have done better. Not to mention your husband having to come to terms with the fact that you don’t have as much time to spend with him. This is just another battle that working moms have to overcome. To keep it simple moms have to be courageous to go after success because we’re risking it all for an opportunity!

My most important role models are my mom and dad, Troy and Della Eddings! They taught me how to get through tough times, struggles, setbacks and failure. They taught me how to make something out of nothing and how to get it done no matter what obstacles stand in your way!

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