Helping an “Agent of STEAM” Achieve Her Dreams
The efforts of educational institutions assisting students in their academic
quests should not end when the last school bus leaves, or the last car pulls
away from the schools doors for summer break.
There should still be opportunities for learning, educational challenges to
keep the mind sharp, the integration of technology to enhance much needed
technology skills and even opportunities for collaboration in STEAM / STEM
The competitiveness of entering into higher educational institutions, starting
of career choices and even earning Internships and scholarships is shown to
boost the academic achievement levels of students.
Students like Taylor Richardson of #Jacksonville, #Florida have high altitude
dreams and aspirations of becoming one of the first astronaut to travel to Mars,
these dreams and aspirations are what drives dreams to become realities.
This nation was built on dreams of millions of men and women that wanted
to make a difference, not just for themselves, for their children and humanity.
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants travel to this country to live their
dreams, to take advantage of the educational and technology resources.
After slavery Black developed similar dreams, they saw the same chances
The exploration of space is expanding, young people like Taylor are needed
and should be encouraged and supported to help maintain a strong
presence for the United States of America in the quest for further cosmic
As an educator it is encouraging to see students in elementary school
that are transitioning to middle school have such a strong passion and
long term goals. Having known Taylor for several years she possesses
a fire of excellence and a passion for learning that too many adults
do not have, and other kids that do not have similar passions hate on.
Taylor’s involvement in the community of Jacksonville, Florida has
inspired students not just at her school, students in other
elementary schools and all socio-economic levels. Taylor has a wisdom
and understanding that even though at a young age and transitioning
from elementary to middle school she understands through the
teaching and guidance of her mother that she has a responsibility
to “give back” to her community. Taylor’s “compassion” has led her
to positively influence other children through her talks, her academic
achievements and her courage to not listen to those that carry the
burden of jealousy and hate, because they either don’t have the
courage Taylor has or their support system is not as supportive
as Taylor’s mother Latonja S Richardson, my mother had a similar
passion, love and drive supporting her three children. So I
understand the challenges and successes that Taylor and her
When youth have this drive “it takes a village” has a new meaning
and the village has a responsibility to support, encourage and make
sure that its youth does succeed. Success shows other youth that
they can reach their dreams, they can achieve their desires in positive
ways that bring a new sense of purpose and power to achieve
and grow. Too many youth, teens and young adults feel that they
have no opportunities to help them grow out of their situations.
They need support, encouragement and love….
Too many children do not have hope, do not think they can afford
to dream and even suffer from depression because they do not see
faces like theirs succeeding. Too many parents seem to have
given up on their children, but continue to hate on others that
work hard to achieve their goals. This must stop if we as a
community and nation can grow in the Black community.
Taylor is a typical young lady: she is involved in Girls on the Run,
Journey into Womanhood, Girl Scouts, Triathlete, Jacksonville
Youth Symphony violin player, Honor Roll student and volunteer.
She is a 2014 winner of Mayor Alvin Brown essay contest, selected
as a 2015 Jacksonville Achiever and member of her school’s
Principal Advisory Council at Chets Creek Elementary.
Taylor has stated, “I want to be a scientist and astronaut when I
grow up. I also want to be the first African American female to go
to Mars.” Her goals are cosmic which in this nation, all our children
should be provided educational and economic opportunities.
Taylor also states that, “I would like to visit all the US Space Centers,
all 14 of them in the United States of America.”
“I’m hoping to be the first African American to visit all the centers by
my 12th birthday which is July 15, 2015! I have been to the Kennedy
Space Center and attended last summer space camp in Huntsville, AL.
Which was the best experience ever! I have attended several STEM
events in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida, James Weldon
Johnson Middle school and most recently Expanding Your Horizon
Young Women excelling in Math and Sciences. I love space and the
unknown in our universe!”
Helping youth like Taylor should not be a question of “if,” it should
be a statement “All the time, whatever is necessary.” The United States
is in competition with growing global powers and is dependent on the
abilities and successes of students like Taylor. Our children are models
for others, Taylor’s model is Mae Jemison the first African American
female to go to space, what better way to extend academic excellence
and promote fields of STEAM/STEM/STREAM/CSTREAM and other
The GoFundMe site to help Taylor is located at:
“My idol is Dr. Mae Jemison who was the first African American female to go
to space! I hope you will help me achieve my goal. The monies raised for this
trip from the East coast to the West coast will cover travel and lodging for me.
Thanks for your support! Taylor aka #StarBright” #spacecenters #teamtaterboo,
Looking for sponsors for Taylor to help her dream of going to Cali, TX and
VA this summer!
U.S. space centers www.visitnasa.org