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
https://twitter.com/LatonjaR 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
https://twitter.com/HiddenFigures 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 http://www.hiddenfigures.com/bio/
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.
Parent, Blogger, Educator, Speaker
Blogging at My Quest To Teach