Since Rena’s parents could not afford to pay for any of her college costs, she worked her way through school as a waitress. When she started at the University of Minnesota, she wanted to be a Forest Ranger because she loved the outdoors. Working at NASA never entered her mind.
While growing up in a small town in Mississippi only 35 miles from Stennis Space Center, Pat never imagined she would one day be the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at a NASA Facility. Growing up, her family had extremely limited resources. Truth be known, they were very poor.
Linda’s earliest memory of space was hearing about the Russians and Sputnik and monkeys flying in space. The world was much different then. There was no Internet or Google. Television offerings were limited, but this was big news at the time. Little did she know that one day NASA would be in her future.
For Monica Ceruti, the trick has been to learn how to balance work and family without compromising either. Today, in addition to having a rewarding home life, her two sons are on the road to having rewarding careers: her oldest son is a college graduate and her youngest son is a cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy.
For Wendy Holladay, the trick has been to balance her large family of 6 with her fast moving career at NASA. To accomplish both, she spent 20 of her 29 years at NASA Stennis Space Center as a part-time employee. And, for Ms. Holladay, it has made all of the difference.
For Diane Sims, Hurricane Katrina was a not only a moment of destruction and guilt but also of belief and compassion in the human spirit. She recalls, “I remember having a huge sense of guilt because my house survived, and I was the only one in my office that wasn’t displaced.”
As the mother of three daughters and spouse to a NASA employee, Anita Douglas had to quickly learn how to balance work and family without compromising either. Today, in addition to having a rewarding home life, all three of her daughters are in college.
For Ramona Travis, her ultimate destination had little to do with astrology, and everything to do with commitment, drive, and a natural curiosity about our own Earth and what’s beyond.
Dinna LeDuff Cottrell, whose professional life has been focused on information technology, believes “the key to increasing the number of women and minorities in information technology careers begins by mentoring future generations.”