Who is Dr Mae Jemison? Only the first ever Black woman to travel into space.
In 1987, Dr Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program. And then finally, on 12th September 1992, she finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour.
What I love best about her story is that she came from really humble beginnings. Her dad was a a roofer and carpenter and her mum was an elementary school teacher. Even a a child she loved science, especially astronomy and spent a considerable amount of time in her school library. She was an honour student all through school and her studying paid off as she went to Stanford on a National Achievement Scholarship.
After getting her BSc in Chemical Engineering she then studied Medicine at Cornell. After graduation she was a GP, a Peace Corps medical officer and she taught and did medical research before changing gears and applying for NASA’s astronaut training programme. She made it in as one of 15, selected from over 2000 applications.
After going into space she formed a non-profit educational foundation, wrote children’s books and had numerous tv appearances in addition to earning several honorary doctorates.
This quote from Dr Mae Jemison, highlighted in the above image, is one of my absolute favourites: “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations”.
When I worked in technology in my early career, I was a Women in STEM Ambassador nurturing young women who were thinking of a career in tech. I used this quote a lot to remind them that they shouldn’t let outdated opinions and what others had to say get in the way of their dreams. Even as adults this is a powerful message.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you had heard of Dr Mae Jemison before today.
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