Staff Report

MIAMI, Fla. – The Miami Foundation and Philanthropy Miami annually present the Emerging Philanthropist Award to a young donor who uses charitable giving to drive measurable results around a local cause, broadly improve the lives of Miamians and encourage others to give.

For 2020 that distinguished honor has been awarded to Amaka Amalu, founder of Tech Girl Power and Tutus & Cars.

Amalu received the award March 5 at Jungle Island during Philanthropy Miami’s 2020 Donor Next Door Awards Luncheon.

“On behalf of the girls we work with at Tech Girl Power, we humbly thank the Miami Foundation and Philanthropy Miami for this distinguished award and shining the light on our cause,” said Amalu.

As the sole female mechanical engineer in her firm of 400 employees, Amalu recognized the need to invest in STEM education for girls. She founded Tech Girl Power in 2016 to provide access and mentorship opportunities for youth in Greater Miami.

What sets Amalu’s nonprofit apart from other STEM initiatives is that her workshops include presentations on self-esteem and self-efficacy building blocks, to help improve science and math scores and navigate thru a though life and/or male dominated work fields.


Working with girls from lower socioeconomic communities of South Florida, these additional elements are integral to her program because the girls have more obstacles to overcome than the average girl.

With Miami having one of the highest rates of income inequality in the nation, Amalu says having the girls go into the growing field of STEM, where 93% of the starting wages are above the national average, will help break the cycle of poverty in these communities.

Working alongside other nonprofits that are in line with her mission, such as Branches Inc., ensures that the girls who show interest from the STEM workshops have access to tutoring and other programs that can aid in their scholastic success in order to pursue a STEM field.

In addition to dedicating her own time and treasure, Amalu has motivated others within her network to join the cause. Hardesty and Hanover, the 130-yearold infrastructure engineering company where she works, now sponsors Tech Girl Power workshops, and Amalu’s colleagues have stepped up to serve as mentors and volunteers in the program.


Amalu was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved to South Florida at the age of nine for better educational opportunities. She earned her bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

Currently an associate and lead mechanical engineer at Hardesty and Hanover, Amalu is on a mission to show girls that STEM is fun.

In addition to the STEM nonprofit she founded, she also started a STEM brand company for girls called Tutus & Cars, which features STEM themed T-shirts and toys.

She also started a YouTube Channel called Engineer Emma, where she does fun STEM projects with her 7-yr-old niece who also wants to be an engineer.