My Quest To Teach

January 27, 2017

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In The Future

What’s Next for Hidden Figures In  The Future
by William Jackson


Congratulations to Latanya Richardson and her daughter
Taylor Richardson for the success of showing Hidden
Figures in Jacksonville, Florida to over 200 girls.
The awesome story of how African American women
helped NASA to put astronauts into space and bring
them back to earth.
Girls and women from around Jacksonville, Florida
attended representing groups and schools from
around the city. As a teacher I had the honor to bring
several students from Venetia Elementary School a
Medical Magnet STEM that teaches grade K to 5th 
a Lee High School student. My only regret is
that I could not bring more.


The emotional and psychological inspiration of
this movie demands to ask what is next to keep
the seriousness and the historical value of this
movie moving forward. STEM and STEAM that
are being applied in the educational cultures of
schools is seen as not only career necessary, but
has scientific, business and commerce influences
in this country and on a global scale.
The movie brilliantly showed not just the struggles
of women in the NASA Space Program, but showed
the value and application of their education.
The reason why educational degrees are important,
the value of visiting the library to learn new things
and applying them to real world situations, and the
personal responsibility to prepare for the future.


There were many scenes where the women were called
“computers” as their analytical abilities where recognized,
but only later were they respected after showing and
demanding equality through leadership opportunities and
promotions that were withheld only because of their color.
Working with many types of math and integrating
mathematical equations that sometimes had to be created.
This shows that girls and women have the skill sets and
analytical abilities to function in complex and STEAM
areas that demand creativity and innovation.

Hidden Figures addressed several civil rights issues in the
areas of political and educational equality that in some cases
are still being addressed for Black
s, Hispanics and others of
the struggle still continues and there
have been many successes.


Girls and women will take away many lessons from the
movie and see how history was changed not just by
protests, by going to school to earn advanced degrees,
learning the laws of the nation, how to speak properly
without using profanity, the importance of family unity
and support and setting goals that everyone works towards.

Another important key is to carry or act like there is
self-pride, cultural respect and intelligence.
 A key lesson
shared is that children  
learned early that education is
the ticket to a better life even when there are
challenges to be overcome.

Even seeing the implementation of “new” technologies
at the time when early computers where not as easy to
use, but there was continued learning in programming
languages that demanded studying and forward thinking.
The movement to gaining educational parity and equality
is a great value for boys and girls of color, this movie is
worth seeing again and applied to the learning initiatives
in all schools to allow students to see the why they
need to be serious about their education and the vision
for their dreams of success.


Seeing the new IBM computers being used, but it
took a woman to learn the programming language to
make it work sends a message that women are as smart
and intelligent as men, even if those men are Black
or white.
There are no barriers than can stop girls and women
from gaining l
eadership skill-sets and applying the
intelligence to make positive and historical changes.
Parents, mothers, fathers, and grandparents if you
have not seen Hidden Figures take your children and
other children if possible to see this movie that not
only shows the historical application of education
and cultural  pride and respect, that gender is not
a liability
, color is not a curse, there is a blending of
historical successes and  global influence.


Hidden Figures opens the mind’s eye that anything is
possible, t
hat dreams can be achieved, and intelligence
is Dope and Lit.
What is next is up to parents, schools, churches and
communities to support children, youth and teens.
Time will tell, graduations rates from high school
and college will tell and the growing number of girls
and boys of co
lor in  STEM careers will tell.


January 16, 2017

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us

Dr. Mae Jemison and Taylor Richardson

There Are More Hidden Figures Around Us
by Prof. William Jackson @wmjackson
Edward Waters College

“I’m just amazed at the shoulders that I’m standing
on to allow me to work to achieve my dreams.”
Taylor Richardson, attending “Hidden Figures”
premiere at the White House 2016

Dedicated to the past Hidden Figures that allowed
girls and boys to embrace STEM – STEAM – STREAM
and grasp new opportunities to fulfill dreams from the
depths of the sea, to the height of the clouds to the
deepest of space.
The movie ”Hidden Figures” 2016 is inspiring thousands
of girls and women to eliminate the fear of learning,
to understand the fun of exploration, embrace artistic
creativity, develop themselves as “thought leaders” and
“smart creatives.” To understand that it is ok to be smart,
gifted, talented and special. The perceived glass ceiling of
career limitations has been shattered by the flames of
curiosity to explore not just the limitations of earth’s
atmosphere and her seas, but has moved into the air less,
weightless and limitless expanse of space and time.

FIRST LEGO LEAGUE of Jacksonville, Florida

The emergence of STEM – Science Technology Engineering
Math is looking good to girls and women as careers explode
in diversity in the embracing of girls and women into areas
at one time exclusively open to men, white men.
The irony of “Hidden Figures” is that research has proven
that women are more analytical and able to comprehend
and apply mathematics skills faster than men. They are more
detailed oriented and specific about applying learning to
real world situations.

African Americans and others of color have been involved
with most if not all space agencies, this involvement is not
just as custodians, cooks, maintenance and other support
personnel. These positions are important, they help the
people do the jobs they to do and service this country.
The other aspect is not just as service personnel, but the
intellectual abilities that allow for NASA and other agencies
to meet with success and build a legacy through the
intelligence of everyone that contributes. People of color
have always and will continue to contribute, they have not
received the recognition they deserve.

STEM / STEAM are the hottest sectors in the U.S. job market
and has grown to international levels. Even before it became
a commonly used word the elements of STEM have been
important. Because of movies like “Hidden Figures” and others
doors of imagination and dreams are growing for girls,
women, boys and men of color and culture.

STEM does not start in high school or higher education, it
starts in elementary education labs, classrooms and weekend
competitions and events. It starts in after school programs and
new curriculum’s that teachers have a passion to apply new
and exciting ways to engage students that were once thought
slow or different, but were actually higher order and critical
thinkers, just bored with cookie cutter teaching strategies
dated from the 1950s and 1970s. Today’s students need to
be engaged and active learners.

William Jackson teaching a STEAMS
class – Science Technology Engineering
Math Sports – engaging studnets.

When I taught STEAM at an elementary Magnet it is important
that learning is relevant and students can apply their past
learning to new learning and integrate it to everyday life.
If students are not engaged mentally, actively involved, have
hands on activities and allowed to explore environments there
are lost opportunities to build the excitement to allow future
scientists, mathematicians, engineers, innovators and even
technical expertise in computers and robotics.

HBCUs are important in the education
of future STEM employees.

Many people still do not realize that STEAM and STEM run the
U.S. economy, look at the growth of careers that not only require
a college degree, but certifications. “The future of the economy
is in STEM,” says James Brown, the executive director
of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C. Even
President and Mrs. Obama have encourage STEM education
through grants and national programs.

Parents must understand as well that their children’s employment
are influenced by STEM. Employment in occupations related to
STEM science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is
projected to grow to more than 9 million jobs by 2022
nationally and internationally. Children now may now have to
find jobs in the U.S. and have to travel overseas, they must be
prepared to keep this nation competitive.

U.S. relationships with the world are important because if the
U.S. does not have friendly relationships globally then research
opportunities, international collaborations, joint projects and even
educational research will be at jeopardy. We cannot afford to be
secluded because the world is diversified in economic and social
Students should be asking what their STEM futures are and how is
their current educational instruction preparing them for the future?
Parents should be asking are their children being prepared to be
employed or setup to be under or un – employed.

“One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how
we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology,
engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train
an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure
that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the
respect that they deserve.”
President Barack Obama, Third Annual White House Science Fair,
April 2013


Events like the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE by Mark Douglas McCombs
are foundations to engage youth, teens and young adults into
robotics, programming, design, innovation and as developers.
There are hundreds if not thousands of “Hidden Figures” in homes,
schools, communities, cites and this nation. They should be
encouraged, mentored and provided role models to spread their
wings to take flight to be unHidden…

Mark Douglas McCombs, center celebrating the
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE competition at The Bolles

Parents your child may be the scientist to discover a cure for cancer,
diabetes, heart disease; your child may be the next deep sea
explorer or engineer to develop light speed, force fields or even
new fuels to power the world. Uncover the hidden talent in your child
by supporting their education, their thirst for exploration and their
gifted abilities.

Statistics uses data from Occupational Employment Statistics


Jacksonville Florida FIRST LEGO LEAGUE

The Office of Science and Technology Policy

Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson



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



June 13, 2016

Why We Need To Support All Girls Like Natalie and Taylor

Why We Need To Support All Girls Like #MoxieGirl and #AgentofSTEAM
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
@wmjackson – Parent, Educator, Blogger, Speaker

Moxie Girl and The Astronaut
Moxie Girl and Agent of STEAM

“Black girls need to know that they matter.
They need to see examples of success, leadership,
achievement, sisterhood, compassion,
humanitarianism, in abundance so that they
can gain confidence in their ability to become
their best and greatest selves.”
Black Girls Rock Inc.
Founder Beverly Bond

The upcoming gathering of girls and women in the
United State of Women,
to be held in Washington D.C. on
Monday, June 13th 2016 shows that girls and
women can accomplish great things
in their communities, their cities, in their
schools, churches and across this nation.
The growing presence of girls and women
in STEM / STEAM related careers is expanding
girls and women opportunities to influence
the greater good of their professions and opening
doors for other girls and women to enter into
nontraditional careers.

Taylor and science
Taylor Richardson
JIW, Girl Scout, STEAM Agent
Community Activist, Future Astronaut

That perceivable “Glass Ceiling” has shattered
in millions of shards representing the
challenges that girls and women have
faced and continue to overcome.
This event will highlight the accomplishments,
challenges, excellence, intellect and intelligence
of girls and women.
Lead by First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey,
Black  Girls Rock Inc. Founder Beverly Bond
and others accomplished women in their professions
ranging from education, technology, medicine,
science, politics, religion and the diverse careers
and entrepreneurial endeavors that girls and women
are involved in. Expanding their intellectual diversity
to show girls and women it is cool to be creative,
intellectual and an innovator in their

natalie 2
Natalie McGriff, Author, Speaker, Writer
Community Activist

As a parent and educator I hope this encourages
all girls of color and culture in Jacksonville,
Florida to excel academically and athletically.
Embracing their Nerdiness, Blerdiness, Geekiness,
and STEAMiness (Science Technology Engineering
Arts Mathematics  (Medicine).
Parents have a continued responsibility to encourage
their children to be engaged in learning every day.
Parents that have a struggling child in reading, math,
language arts and other academic areas will be held
accountable if their child is not successful in school,
their children are potentially being setup for under
employment, unemployment, and being left behind
economically and socially if they are unwilling to
work with educators to see that their children put
forth the effort to succeed and understand
the value of education.

This past school year should be an indication to
parents that if their daughter is not where they
are supposed to be academically and socially there
should be interventions during the summer to
prepare for the next school year. There are great
role models in  athletics and entertainment, but
there should be increased recognition
of the academic achievements and community
volunteering by our girls and women of color
and culture.

This blog shares the continued successes of
Natalie McGriff and Taylor Richardson and their
mothers who have been invited to Washington, D.C.
for their academic and community accomplishments.
To participate in this wonderful gathering of girls
and women that are accomplishing great things in
their communities, their schools, in their
churches and across this great nation.
“United State of Women”

14 reasons why we need to support all girls like
#MoxieGirl and #AgentofSTEAM

  1. They are positive role models for girls and young women
    in their communities, in their city, in their state and nationally.
  2. Mainstream media does not always depict girls and women
    of color and culture in a positive light as they should. They
    are too often shown in poverty and uneducated.
  3. They give back to their community in examples of improving
    literacy, importance of reading, the value of comprehension
    and career choices in STEAM, STEM, STREAM, CSTEM
    STEM2 for girls and young women of color and culture.
  4. They are students in public education and are successful
    academically and in social behaviors.
  5. They experience the same challenges girls of color and
    culture experience every day related to hair, skin tones,
    language, economics and academics, they can relate to
    their sisters of color and culture in their struggles.
  6. They have mothers that are very supportive and sacrifice
    daily for their children’s success.
  7. They still experience “haters,” those that are jealous, and
    lost in low self-esteem, but still strive forward for success
    and providing positive self-esteem and cultural respect
    and value.


  8. They work to balance their academic lives by keeping
    school first.
  9. They continue to be humble in their accomplishments.
  10. Their participation in the media is a positive representation
    not only of being girls of color, but girls of intelligence and
  11. Their successes can be shared with boys of color and
    culture too inspire them as well.
  12. Their mothers keep life “real” about who they are and how
    the world may see them as well.
  13. They understand the importance of “sisterhood” and how
    girls of color and culture are sometimes targets of criticism,
    low expectations and culturally challenged.

    14. Their mothers show other mothers they should understand
    the commitment needed to help their children grow beyond
    their current levels of knowledge, ability and skill level.

The community should encourage all girls and boys of color
and culture to embrace their talents, skills and abilities.
Parents of color and culture need to reinforce that they have
a responsibility to lift each other up and not to hate on, gossip,
disrespect, negatively talk about those that are opening doors
that other girls and boys of color and culture can walk through.

Support Natalie and Taylor as they travel to
“The United State of Women” in Washington, D.C.
Monday, June 13th


Michelle Obama announces United State of Women

The United State of Women

Status of Women

The United State of Women

The United State of Women

Latonya S Richardson

Taylor Richardson meets Mae Jemison

Angie Nixon

The Adventures of Moxie Girl

The Adventures of Moxie Girl

Natalie McGriff

8 Year Old Author Invited to Whitehouse

Blog at

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