About Ashlee Cooper
Ashlee Cooper, MLS (ASCP)’s success as a molecular microbiology scientist prepared her for success in the drone industry. She has more than10 years of experience as a STEM educator and certified clinical laboratory scientist. Her career in academia includes training medical residents to managing, designing, and instructing STEM labs at post-secondary institutions. She served on the campus safety board as the Chemical Hygiene Officer; and sat on the Science Olympiad Board and many other educational task forces.
Becoming a Part 107 pilot presented life-changing opportunities. Ms. Cooper’s drone-industry credentials include certification as an FAA Remote Pilot with an sUAS rating; Pennsylvania Drone Association Board Member; Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team Representative and DronePro.
Ms. Cooper began with instructing her code-learning and drone-flying 4-year-old to finding Droneversity with the mission to continue the Black aviation legacy in the drone revolution. As an industry member of the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative, Droneversity is committed to creating career pathways for economic development, starting with self-paced and live Part 107 prep courses and flight training. Ms. Cooper has developed STEAM-aviation training for multiple organizations for all ages. Droneversity’s comprehensive curriculum is behind its students’ Part 107 100% pass rate. Her Beginner Aviation and Drone Navigators programming includes drone camps to prepare students for the future job market.
Getting to know Ashlee
Who has inspired you?
My grandmothers, mother, aunts, many cousins, and my sister own, or have owned businesses. I am the great-granddaughter of Augusta Cooper. As a young woman, she saved her money and paid for land on an installment basis so she could move from Arkansas to Flint, MI for a better life. She thought she was buying a house and upon arrival found it was only land – no house. So she saved her money and built a house, and then went on to own 15 properties in her lifetime. She was also a foster care parent and finally retired at age 93. I am the daughter of Katherine Paige Cooper who worked for many years as a construction flagger and built a business that now employs 100 flaggers. I am the sister of Alisha Cooper, who moved from bank teller to bank owner. I could go on and on. My inspiration abounds.
Share something people may not know about you:
I am a craft mom who started a party planning business -A Savvy Creation – during Covid – 19. My need for aerial shots of my balloon decorations at a party led to me learning to fly drones. I love creating and designing crafts with my 4-year-old daughter. Her cooking crafts are featured on her YouTube channel – Little Savvy Academy.
A fun fact about yourself:
I play the piano and love to sing. My daughter and I love, love, love to swim.
Your “dream job” in aviation:
My dream job is my company Drone Navigations and its’ education component – Droneversity. I feel so blessed to be able to build an aviation legacy that empowers women and African Americans to be part of the drone revolution.
A favorite book or movie you would like to recommend:
The Disney story of Princess Tiana is a favorite. She is a visionary who is told by friends, family, and white male bankers that her childhood dream to open a restaurant is too big for her. She does the hard work of making it happen anyway.
Advice would you like to share with the next generation of female leaders:
You don’t have to choose. You can make your passions profitable. Most of your messages will be that you can’t. Ignore them, no matter how difficult it is to get them out of your head. Surround yourself and follow women like me who are rooting for you.