Star Trek spurred Maynette’s interest in space. While a little too young to remember watching John F. Kennedy talk about the United States sending a man to the moon and returning him safely to the Earth, the memory of the crew of Apollo 8 reading from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the moon on Christmas Eve still resonates with her. At 8 years of age, she sat with her father watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. From that point on, Maynette dreamed of working for NASA.
Maria was born in Chiclayo, a small town in Peru. Now, she works at NASA as a Program Analyst for the Launch Services Program. Her road to NASA has not been easy, but it has been full of determination and will power.
NASA has been part of Becky Murray’s life since she was born-literally! Becky NASA story began at her childhood home as the daughter of an Apollo-era engineer. At a young age, she knew she wanted to be part of the extraordinary NASA family.
Mary grew up as the middle child surrounded by three sisters. Communication and prioritization was key to keep a peaceful home. From an early age, Mary set her goals high and set out to work for NASA as an Astronaut. Many children would change their minds but Mary never did.
Hibah Rahmani was born in Pakistan, raised in Kuwait and moved to the United States after high school. Being fascinated with the beautiful night sky, she developed a passion for science, space and astronomy at a very young age.
Josephine Santiago-Bond didn’t grow up wanting to work for NASA. Having grown up in the Philippines, NASA was half a world away, and was something she had only read about in old history books, or occasionally heard about on television.
For Crystal Leathers Jones, growing up surrounded by drugs, crime and poverty made her dreams of working for NASA seem unreachable. Through her determination, hard work and perseverance, Crystal was able to change the course of her life and blaze a path of success that her siblings and others growing up in similar situations could follow.
For Charmel Jones, the journey to NASA was unexpected. Although she strived to be an engineer since the age of 10, she never imagined in a million years that she would be, or could ever be, a part of the NASA family. Growing up in a single-parent household in Palmetto, Fla., Ms. Jones was faced with the stereotypical persona that she would not amount to anything because of growing up in an “unbalanced” family.
Tiffaney Miller Alexander knew by the time she was in sixth grade that she wanted to become an electrical engineer. Sparked by her interest to know how electronic devices worked coupled with the inspiration of her mother becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree, overcome a battle with cancer, and her faith in God, Tiffaney believed she had a great motivational example of determination and resilience to help her along her career journey.
For Cristine Dundas, eight years of waitressing was all she could take. She knew it was time to make a change in her life and go to college. Ms. Dundas started her career with NASA as a management support assistant. While attending college for her two-year degree in the secretarial field, she came across a flier about NASA looking for cooperative education (co-op) students.
Janet Petro took an impressive step when, at the age of 17, she began leadership training at the highly esteemed United States Military Academy at West Point at a time when women had just begun to be accepted into the nation’s military academies.
Although Clara Wright had to learn a new language and adapt to a different culture and the age of 8, when her family moved from Colombia to the United States, she was always fluent in the language of hard work, perseverance, and integrity – thanks to the example set forth by her parents.
Andrea Meyer’s life was changed irrevocably when, on one cold Nebraska morning while practicing emergency landing procedures with her flight instructor, her airplane went into a flat spin before crashing into an empty cornfield.