"What we find is that if you have a goal that is very, very far out, and you approach it in little steps, you start to get there faster. Your mind opens up to the possibilities" - Mae Jemison ( first African American astronaut to travel to space)
Growing up I attended a private school. Everyday I looked at a picture of astronaut and engineer Mae Jemison on my teachers classroom door. I loved seeing a black woman in a her astronaut gear everyday. My parents even got me a telescope for Christmas one year. I couldn't have been happier.
I'm 25 and a few weeks ago I was discussing Hidden Figures with my mom and the fact that I had the experience as a kid growing up with knowledge that a black woman could do anything in the world including go to space. I felt that the film "Hidden Figures" greatly highlighted phenomenal women and allowed a new generation to be motivated and educated about how powerful woman are. So when astronaut and activist Taylor Richardson, sent me her story, I became so inspired. Her words blessed my heart in a special way , because she's bold, beautiful, thoughtful ,and willing to make her dreams come true and inspires her peers and even me to push pass "norms" and succeed at great lengths. Taylor is a star and I'm honored to have interviewed her. I know that she is making her mom , family , and friends proud. I am beyond proud of her and I will be tuned into her career and waiting to see her space mission live on television one day. Her mission is unstoppable and she going to continue to shine throughout the world and space.
Read our interview below and watch her Lottie Dolls segment.
1.)Taylor congrats on attending Black Girls Rock Lead conference . How was it?
Thank you! It was by far to date the best conference I've ever attended. To be around girls who looked like me, who have the same issues as me and to come together to learn from people in the game that not only are rocking it but LEADing and black! There speakers from every arena you could think of. From the Tech world to fashion to entrepreneurs you name it we had it at our finger tips! My favorites were Dr Knatokie Ford, Louis Carr, Michaela Angela Davis, and of course founder, Beverly Bonds. Her staff was just as amazingly fierce and rocked like her! I'm definitely applying again next year! It was like I was finally home. It felt like home. The conference gave me tools to not only to lead, innovate and serve, but to break these glass ceilings down and lift others as I'm doing it. Our blackness is our badge of honor and we wear it proud! I'm Taylor and I'm a black girl who rocks in every way!
2.) Hidden Figures was an amazing and much needed film? What did you gain from the movie ?
Yes, this for me is the best movie ever! To know that there were women black women who helped John Glenn get to the moon- amazing! It made me even more proud to be a young black girl especially since I one day want to go to Mars. I gained a sense of pride watching this film. It only made me more determined to reach my goal and to ensure girls especially black girls know that they can do anything even when the world is against them. Which is why I raised the money to send girls to see this film beside it was important to us girls to know that we can do anything a guy can and maybe even better!
3.)The first African American female astronaut in space Mae Jemison is a phenomenal woman, what does she mean to you?
She's one of my heroes! Seeing her makes me feel like I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it. Having someone like Dr. Jemison who looks like me makes me feel good about myself. She’s not just an African American role model, she’s a role model for all people and girls like me who want to live their dreams of becoming astronauts.
4.)There's so much of space that we don't know about. We know about some planets but not all, if you discovered a planet what would you name it?
Unity because I want people to know that we have to have unity to make this world better than what it is. So if we had a do over and found a new planet it would definitely be called Unity.
5. )What's your favorite thing to do for fun?
If I'm not in school, running, speaking or volunteering I really just like hanging with my close friends, listening to music and hanging out. If I'm home then I like watching YouTube videos on science experiments and music and dance videos! I have an arts side too! So I'm not only a STEM girl but a STEAM girl!
6. )You've motivated other youth to follow their dreams . How does that make you feel?
It makes me proud to know that I motivate other youth to pursue their dreams. I have so many people who help me and keep me grounded so to me paying it forward through service is the only way. If I can inspire to dream big then act big it's worth it! Ad astra girls ad astra!
7.)When you visit space what do you look forward to seeing ?
Well I'm looking forward to space walking and floating in space and collecting items to study and research and mostly viewing the Earth surface! So far I've been looking up to the stars one day my view will be amongst them and when that day comes boy will it be a great one!