With Hidden Figures bringing the contribution of black women at NASA into the national conscious, a 22-year-old MIT student is currently making history as you read this.
Tiera Guinn has yet to graduate with her degree in aeronautics and astronautics, but she is already working as a Rocket Structural Design and Analysis Engineer for the Space Launch System Boeing is building for NASA. The rocket, which will become the most powerful rocket in history,is intended to take people to Mars.
Always somewhat a wiz in math, Guinn always knew she wanted to be a space engineer. Her mother started honing her math skills early at the grocery store, and she made sure she took the right classes that eventually led her to MIT.
“When [my mom and I] would go to the grocery store, she would get me to clip coupons [and] put it in my coupon organizer,” Guinn told WBRC News. “By the time we got to the register, I’d have to calculate the exact total, including tax. And I did that since I was six years old.”
Guinn told WBRC that she cried when she met Margot Lee Shetterly, the author of the book Hidden Figures movie is based on. But she also knows that there many other black and brown girls who will be looking at her career success. Her advice:
“You have to look forward to your dream and you can’t let anybody get in the way of it,” she told the Huffington Post. “No matter how tough it may be, no matter how many tears you might cry, you have to keep pushing. And you have to understand that nothing comes easy. Keeping your eyes on the prize, you can succeed.”
She is showing us that you can aim for the stars, literally!