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Humbled.

I guess if you really strip everything away...

...wanting to be an astronaut...
...getting an Aerospace Engineering degree...
...working on helicopters...
...living with Type 1 Diabetes...

...there is one underlying theme in my life. I want to inspire someone.

Last week Chris (the F) and I went to a lecture at the Space and Rocket Center. Dr. Langsdon talked about President Kennedy and his connections to the space program, it was really interesting! Afterward he was signing his newest book, so we decided to purchase one and wait in line to talk with him. While we were waiting, the center's new CEO walked up and started talking to us. We told her our little story...how we had met there 4 years ago, how we both loved inspiring kids to be fighter pilots, and how we planned to have our wedding reception in that very building next year. She was excited for us and continued the conversation by asking what we were doing now. We mentioned our degrees, and our jobs...she was impressed. When she walked away another woman from behind me asked if she could have my "autograph". "What?" I said. "I'm not really anyone important." She told me how her daughter is a junior in high school and was nervous about pursuing an engineering degree. "I just want her to know that she can do it. You did it!" I agreed to write a note to a girl I had never met right there on some random lady's manila folder, because it is important.

I also included this little blog address in the note, so maybe she is out there, somewhere, still unsure. And if she reads this I want her to know that she absolutely CAN do it! It's going to be tough, you may encounter teachers that are still not used to girls in engineering (I did anyway), you may have to prove yourself a little more than your male counterparts. But it doesn't matter, because you CAN do all those things. All those things will make you a stronger person, they will build your confidence, they will lead you on a path where anything is possible. Do it for yourself...and in the process, you just may inspire someone else.

Comments

  1. That is such an amazing story! I am sure you are such an inspiration to many!

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  2. I have 2 engineering degrees, so if she's still unsure ....

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  3. Awww April, this story made me smile. You are an inspiration on so many levels. Keep it up.

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  4. What an inspiring post! Especially since I was just reading this depressing article: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-17/features/sc-fam-0517-education-girls-math-20110517_1_math-girl-scouts-society-of-women-engineers (Now I'm curious; what proportion of your engineering classmates were female? Where I went to school it was like 25%, but it's since been brought to my attention that it's as low as 3% at some universities.)

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  5. Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments!!! And to answer anonymous: 3/15 were female ... so about 20% ish!!

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