First Name

Nancy

Last Name

Mwirotsi

Bio

It is difficult to give a better description of Nancy than her own daughter does… “Nancy Mwirotsi is many things to me, not just because she is my mother. She is a person who is sympathetic, generous, outgoing, positive, supportive, humble, admired, and loved. She is driven, determined, innovative, impactful, and a visionary.” The accuracy of this description is evident upon merely skimming Nancy’s story. Nancy is the founder of Pursuit of Innovation 515, known as Pi515, a program that teaches STEM skills to refugee and low-income children in the Des Moines metro. There are an abundance of STEM jobs and a shortage of STEM professionals; by teaching youth, especially girls, these highly sought skills, she is opening up doors they might not have known existed. She also understands youth are not all the same, so her organization accommodates different ways of learning and discovering, providing space for creativity. Nancy is an advocate for the refugee and immigrant community, spending time at our state capitol and delivering presentations nationally. She has inspired and provided a pathway for many to attend college; in 2016, all five seniors in her program entered college to study STEM fields. Nancy courageously started something from nothing, because she saw a need and an opportunity.