My Quest To Teach

October 27, 2017

Jesus 4

Girls In STEM and STEAM Make History Every Day
by William Jackson
Co-authors Tierra and Deyona
Empowerment Resources, Inc.

There are many events that encourage learning and
reflection in life journey. Thousands if not
millions of girls of color and culture across
the United States and even the world have
experienced the wonder and exhilaration of
Hidden Figures just a year ago, the movie that is
inspiring girls and women of color across the nation
and the world.
The understanding that math is a necessary skill
and that STEM- Science Technology Engineering Math (Arts)
is a real foundation for careers needing this educational
initiative for the growing numbers of girls and women of
color that are changing their thinking in choosing
careers once dominated by men. Even girls and women of
African backgrounds that were once denied entrance
into educational centers, schools and higher education.
Educational opportunities are opening the STEM doors
because the foundation is in STEM and STEAM.

The Jacksonville, Florida girls mentoring initiative
Empowerment Resources, Inc (ERI) – (JIW) Journey Into
Womanhood has a different perspective of the sciences,
math and working in careers that at one time girls did
not even consider.
Now, literally the sky is not the limit, but traveling
in space is a possibility and inner space, exploration
of the oceans and seas.
Hidden Figures showed the mental strength, emotional
resiliency and the passion for education that children
of color and culture needed to witness and understand that
they cannot allow anyone to stop their educational,
personal and professional growth. Girls are creative and
innovative in their talents and thinking. Girls of color
and culture are learning they are Dope, Lit and Unstoppable.

Racial barriers are still present, it can delay or slow
progress but it cannot stop it. Women are key in the
progression and success of NASA, this can no longer be
denied, hidden, silenced or false truths created to show that
women and even men of color are important to the exploration
of space. Diversity breeds success in STEM and STEM.

In the educational system students of color cannot
be lied to and told that Blacks did not contribute to the
success of the space program. Too many students of color have
been lied to, and their aspirations crushed because they wanted
something that their dreams saw they could achieve. To many
years students of color have been denied the education
necessary to be influential agents of change and told they
should only enter into manual labor jobs of low stature, low
responsibility and even lower wages.
JIW Youth Advisory Council Member and High School senior
Tierra and Deyona an 8th grade Middle School student share
their thoughts about the movie and its influences.
Their voices and others need to be heard and applied to
inspire and encourage others to follow their dreams and ignore
the ignorance of racism, s*xism, bias and hate.

Feedback from Tierra:
The movie Hidden Figures was a great movie because it
inspired me to want to do more for my community. It
showed me that women and men are capable of the same
things. The movie showed that black women played an
important role in landing the first man on the moon.
It also shows that to make a change you don’t have to
be disrespectful or aggressive you can be assertive.
My favorite part was the discussion after the movie.
It was very interesting to see that many of the younger
girls were inspired to make a change. I was also
surprised by how many of the girls had similarities
to the women in the movie.

Feedback from Deyona:
This movie was by far the most empowering movie I’ve ever
seen. In the movie there are three African American women
fighting for their rights. It shows the hardships and
struggles of people who look like me. This movie has shown
me that sometimes we have to be the first. There will be
times when we have to set the example for future generations
to come. Your destiny is not your job, it’s your calling.
Kathrine was just a computer for her job. But her calling
lead her to her destiny being a direct influence and
programmer for the Freedom 7 and even the Apollo 13 years
later. Overall this movie has shown me when you walk with purpose,
and strive toward your goal, you’ll collide with destiny.

Calling in your purpose can be applied to Taylor Richardson
a member of JIW and her mother, they raised several thousand
dollars in 2017 to allow hundreds of girls and boys to see this
historic movie and create a movement of change so that boys
and girls of color can see their opportunities are unlimited
by someone else’s standards. That when you walk in and towards
your purpose you are unstoppable.

The efforts of Taylor and her mother are making direct changes
with the advocacy of STEM and STEAM being provided
across the nation and even on global platforms in Africa and
Asia. This energy must continue to create more opportunities
to be available for girls, women, boys and men of color and
culture to continue to make changes that influence not only
outer space, but inner space as well.

Educational paradigms are changing to empower children of color,
their visions are expanding to careers that once were not even
imaginable. STEAM STEM STREAM CSTEM and others are growing
that encourage diversity in color and gender.

January 1, 2017

Taylor Richardson Receives Historic White House Invites


Taylor Richardson Receives Historic White House Invites
by William Jackson, M.Ed
Inspired by Taylor Richardson, student at the Bolles School
Literacy Advocate and Aspiring Astronaut

Taylor Richardson is on the move to achieve her dreams of
becoming an astronaut and traveling to Mars. She is not the
only one, there is a national movement by girls and women to
be the first to safely travel to the red planet, explore its’
mysteries and return home safely.
The difference is Taylor is a resident of Jacksonville, Florida
just several hours way from the home of space travel central,
Kennedy Space Center located in central Florida.
In just the 7th grade, a student at The Bolles School, her
academics are preparing her for the rigors and challenges of
higher education, building a foundation in the areas of STEM
and STEAM where future careers are linked to.
Taylor is sometimes referred to as an Agent of STEAM, Part of
the Mars Generation, and AstroStarBright on Twitter seen with her mother.
In order for these dreams to turn to realities requires a lot
of community work, networking, community support and a love
for STEAM and STEM.


Taylor and her mother have been working to achieve this
dream since Taylor as a young child started dreaming of space flight.
They have been blessed to be noticed by the White House on
several opportunities and have been invited to events like the
“2016 United State of Women: The Movement”
and the recent “Hidden Figures” celebration attended by
politicians, actors, community activists, astronauts, scientists
and educators. both in Washington, D.C.
Hosted by the White House with presentations from First Lady
Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama.


The struggle is real for the single mother that has strategically
guided and managed Taylors journey, but the rewards are awesome
for Taylor to achieve her goals that allow her to be a mentor
to younger girls that are learning about STEM and
those interested in expanding their knowledge through reading.
Taylor, a shy and soft spoken young lady puts aside herself and
speaks to youth teens and young adults about careers that are not
out of their reach. That girls of color and culture are valuable and
carry within them a magic that they can harness to achieve anything
they want to. There is no glass ceiling just the stars to reach
for. Taylor inspires boys not just girls by letting them known that
kids of color can be astronauts, scientists, engineers and that other
careers are open to them not just sports and entertainment.


This is seen when Taylor and her mom are invited to events
from the Governor in 2016 when receiving honors for volunteering
in the community, promoting literacy and being a member of the Girl
Scouts and participating in Journey Into Womanhood an initiative
to provide mentorship to inner city girls and women in Jacksonville,
Taylor and her mom were sent invitations to attend the event
highlighting the 2017 movie Hidden Figures recognizing the
history of space exploration and how African American women were
pivitol in the success of space travel because of their mathematics
knowledge. This historic event featured the stories of African American
women who have made significant contributions to human space flight,
space science, and innovation, but who have not often had their
stories told. There are thousands of African American, Latino and
many others of culture that have not received their just recognition
that contributed to the success of the space program, NASA and other
scientific success stories.


Events like these help to elevate Taylor and inspires her to continue
to work hard to achieve her goals and even lift up other girls and even
boys to see they can achieve great things no matter their
backgrounds and challenges.
The movie Hidden Figures is a fantastic story written by
Margot Lee Shetterly
The story of Hidden Figures
Taylor is just one of thousands of girls and young ladies that have
astronomical dreams. As her mother states, “it takes a village to
raise astronauts.” This is a testimony that collectively we need
to support children of color and culture to help them contribute
to the growth of our nation and provide praise and resources to make
sure they grow and share their knowledge for those following behind them.


Wm Jackson
Parent, Blogger, Educator, Speaker
Blogging at My Quest To Teach



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