When a local middle school science teacher noticed her female students seemed to shy away from math and science, she knew she needed to do something.
"We want them to have those problem-solving skills, those critical-thinking skills. We want them to be confident because they can use those in whatever career they go into," Nakeisha Washington said.
Washington started Nyla Denae Enterprises, with the goal of exposing girls to strong women in STEM as well as building their confidence and self-esteem. The organization is named after Washington's 4-year-old daughter. Washington and Nyla created a new STEM book together called "Who is Nyla Nova?"
In the book, Nyla Denae discovers her true identity as a "STEMsation" called Nyla Nova. Washington said the book is about more than the magic of science -- it's about building self-esteem.
"When she turns into Nyla Nova, her natural hair comes out. It shows her with her natural hair with this crown. So she can be proud of her natural hair," Washington said.
The book is set in a castle, which is Nyla Nova's home.
"We want them to realize they are royalty. They are special. They come from a long line of royalty," Washington said.
To learn more about the book or the organization's STEM Academy, visit NylaDenae.com.