Meet Maggi Thorne, director of innovation and tech education at AIM Institute (aiminstitute.org).
Tell us a little about your business. – The nonprofit AIM Institute builds and connects the cutting-edge tech community in Omaha. AIM provides training and resources for new and experienced tech professionals, making outstanding educational opportunities and career training accessible to all.
How did you get started in the business? – After competing on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior for seven seasons taking on obstacles on the course, I wanted to help people that come from a background like myself. I’m from a low income family that had little resources, and am very passionate about what AIM is doing to make a difference in advancing the lives of the underserved with free tech education and career resources, helping them remove some of their own obstacles to work towards a rewarding career in tech.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – Balancing being a single parent and finding a career that can also help me not just support my kids financially, but support them in life, and that is one of the most rewarding parts about being in tech, especially with a great company like AIM!
What has been your most important achievement professionally? – Early in my career I had the honor of being the first female project manager in the NCAA managing multi-million dollar construction projects. I am all about firsts, and now with AIM as director of innovation it feels like we get to continue more firsts advanced people’s careers in tech through all of our Code School programs.
Tell us a little about your family. – My three active kiddos are fun, active adventurers who have been on the road with me since they were toddlers. Now growing up and in their teens, my middle daughter is a national champion in the 100H, my son is a leader city 300H and my youngest is planning her future running an orphanage to help children globally. We are a close knit crew with servant hearts and LOTS of laughter.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – In 2019 I had a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from American Ninja Warrior and it shut down life in a way I wasn’t ready for. Pain and injury was something I could always push past, just not this time. ‘Never Give Up’ was something I used to say and everyone knew me as that person, but during recovery and a year of outpatient, I hated the phrase. It was six months in when I realized it wasn’t just about saying ‘Never Give Up’, but I needed to become ‘Never Give Up’. It was seeing who I could become in the worst moments instead of just trying to get out of it.
Who inspires you? – Humanity is pretty beautiful in all of its diversity, each day I get inspired by many acts of kindness I keep my eyes open to. The most influential people in my life are the ones that would likely not take a stage or throw a winning touchdown, but they are present to everyone and there for all who come to them in need. A life of generosity with their time.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
What is your favorite TV show? – Succession, hands down!
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Le Bouillon