Paige & Paxton is a registered trademark of the Honey Bee Company LLC.
The Honey Bee Company LLC
The concept of Paige & Paxton is more than 20 years in the making. In the 1980s, Rachel O. Williams was looking for a way to give her two daughters an edge in math and science. She searched for resources, but at the time, the majority of the available elementary STEM content was, well, boring. So she started using these two puzzle piece characters that she created for a business venture to teach some of the more complex concepts through storytelling. This approach made the math and science more interesting and relevant for all involved—Jessica, Kelley, and Rachel.
Fast forward 20 years later, and something amazing had occurred. Both Kelley and Jessica were excelling in science and math-related fields and actively involved in STEM pipelining programs for youth. In 2012, they convinced their mom to bring the characters back to life and build an elementary STEM initiative with the characters at the core. A year later, they secured Chicago Public Schools as their first major client.
Unbeknownst to Rachel, she had stumbled across what is considered best practices in elementary STEM today: early exposure with an emphasis on accuracy and relevance. It’s strange how things turn out. Rachel never imagined that those two rudimentary boxy puzzle piece characters would evolve into an elementary STEM system that would change the way we teach STEM in this country and what we believe our youngest students are capable of.
The whole concept of Paige & Paxton grew out of Rachel’s love for her children and a desire to do what was best for them and now more than twenty years later, her creation, Paige & Paxton, is at the forefront of a movement to do what’s best for all children.
Kelley O. Cambry, Co-Founder
Kelley’s Favorite Thing: Storytelling
Kelley is the co-founder and CEO of the Paige & Paxton STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) system. Kelley taught herself to code at the age 16 and as a result was instrumental in leading nationally recognized STEM pipelining programs. Kelley lead teams designed to expose middle and high school students to opportunities in computer science across the country.
After working with pipelining organizations, she realized the need to start STEM awareness and proficiency earlier in the funnel. She resigned her Assistant Vice President position at JP Morgan Chase to focus on Paige & Paxton, as the brand began to build traction by signing on major school systems, such as Chicago Public Schools. In addition to her role at JP Morgan Chase, Kelley has years of experience in financial services and digital marketing at Fortune 500 companies such as Walgreen Co., Discover Financial Services, and American Express.
Kelley is also an avid storyteller and has presented for TEDx, ComEd, The Girl Scouts, General Assembly, New York University, Social Media Week, Internet Week and at the Chicago Moth. Kelley has been named "Crain's Chicago Business 20 in their 20s," received the "Power 30 Under 30™ award presented by Porsche in the Business category, received the "Chicago Scholars 35 under 35 Young Leaders Making an Impact" award, named a "Hero in Education" by the Soar Women's Empowerment Summit, and was a recipient of the YWCA YWomen Leadership Award. Kelley served as a board member of the Evanston Community Foundation, which distributes over $1.3 million dollars in grants each year. Kelley is a graduate of Howard University School of Business.
Rachel O. Williams, Co-Founder
Rachel’s Favorite Thing: Epiphanies
Rachel is the creator and “alpha tester” of Paige & Paxton when over two decades ago she devised an innovative way to make STEM easy to teach and easy to learn by leveraging two puzzle piece characters and storytelling. As COO, Rachel heads up the product development, curriculum design, and the company’s intellectual property strategy. As the lead author of the curriculum, she is the published author of over 18 educational texts, releasing an average of 4 titles per year.
Rachel’s work in the area of STEM has received national acclaim, hosting workshops for educators across the country in elementary school classrooms and at universities. Rachel regularly speaks to parents about the importance of STEM and strategies for eliminating math and science anxiety and gender bias. As a result of her work, Paige & Paxton was invited to 2016 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy STEM Education Summit, and the Paige & Paxton methodology has been discussed in Harvard University Graduate School of Education classrooms. Rachel received the Soar Women’s Empowerment Summit’s Heroes in Education Award for her mentorship and service to the community.
Rachel is also a marketing communications expert, entrepreneur, and a fitness guru. Her business experience spans more than three decades. As co-owner of Tricor Communications, a Chicago-based production company, her operational skills coupled with her ability to communicate complex subjects to general audiences, helped grow the business to more than 100 clients, including: AT&T, the City of Chicago Department of Aviation, Chicago Park District, DeVry University, Lifelink Corporation, Miller Brewing Company, and Packaging Corporation of America.
Rachel’s other passion is personal training. She is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor who adheres to a rigorous workout regimen. Believing that “it’s never too late to look great,” her work focuses on getting older adults excited about fitness.
Proficient in Spanish, Rachel has studied Mexico and Madrid, Spain, where she lived for two years and taught English as a second language. Rachel has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Dr. Jessica C. Williams, Co-Author and Head of Science
Jessica’s Favorite Thing: Chemical Reactions
Dr. Jessica C. Williams, a practicing dentist, is one of the co-authors of the Paige & Paxton STEM storybook series and the company’s head of science content and curriculum. Due to her mom’s methodology, Jessica excelled at science and was passionate about it from an early age. Her passion led her to become actively involved in youth pipelining programs to get kids of all backgrounds interested in science.
Jessica’s first job in high school was as a Science Achiever at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, where she educated visitors on science concepts. At Howard University, she served as a mentor and tutor for incoming freshmen entering into the College of Arts and Science and helped enhance their baseline of science knowledge and research health professions careers.
Also while completing her undergraduate schooling at Howard University, she interned for Oral Health of America. Jessica managed national projects for Older Adults Programs, including Advocacy Day and the Wisdom Tooth Project, to combat some of the barriers that aging Americans face with receiving oral care they need. She established the groundwork and researched resources for Oral Health America’s national database, Toothwisdom.org, a first-of-its-kind website that connects older adults, caregivers, and health professionals to oral health resources. Jessica also planned OHA Board Members’ legislative meetings in Washington, D.C. to educate the public and legislators about the importance of the barriers that aging Americans face for gaining access to care. Jessica graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Afro-American Studies.
As a dental student at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Jessica received numerous awards and scholarships, including the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship in which she developed and implemented an oral health literacy project in an underserved community in Chicago.
In addition to practicing dentistry, Jessica is a talented abstract artist who has created a substantial body of work. Jessica actively seeks out experiences and venues in which she can educate children and adults about the importance of oral health and its connection to overall health.
Paige & Paxton On the Move
Take a look and enjoy!
Watch how kids delve into the fascinating world of microorganisms through Paige & Paxton’s STEM storybook, Paige & Paxton Discover a Small World, and a hands-on microbiology experiment led by real scientists.
Recap of our Girls in Engineering Make-a-thon, which focused on inspiring girls in K to 8th grade to pursue their dreams through the field of engineering.
Mother and daughter duo, Kelley and Rachel, are working to make sure all kids have access to a STEM education.
A clip from YWCA's YWomen honoree video. Kelley O. Cambry, the co-founder of Paige & Paxton, talks about the influences of her family and how she fights against the unconscious and gender bias of STEM in our children's classrooms. Watch and share!
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