Taylor with her own special Stargazer Lottie Doll!
Many girls have inspired Lottie, and Lottie is inspired by many girls! Time to hear from an aspiring astronaut by the name of Taylor Richardson who's bright future is certainly written in the stars. This 12 year old aims to be the first African American woman to go to Mars and was one of the youngest children ever accepted to Space Camp. Lottie is an advocate of STEM and actively encourages girls to become hands on with science - Taylor is the perfect role model and example of this.
Taylor tells us about her experience as an attendee at the United State of Women summit at the White House this Summer.
Taylor's Story; "United State of Women summit to me can be summed up in a few words Totally life changing and inspiring. Now let's get into formation ladies, we got work to do! Below is just a highlight of my experience and key points from a 12 year old."
Taylor at the White House United State of Women Summit in June 2016
"On June 14, 2016, I attended the first ever White House United State of Women Summit in Washington, DC. To attend you had to be nominated or invited. I was very happy that I was invited by the summit director Taylor Barnes to attend because of my volunteerism and literacy efforts. The summit was a rally to get women and girls like me together to celebrate what women and girls have achieved and how we are to take action to move forward. This summit represented an important movement for women and girls domestically and internationally, as well as for gender equality and justice."
"The summit focused on six topics; economic empowerment, health and wellness, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation, educational opportunity and leadership and civic engagement. Economic empowerment focused on equal pay and paid leave as well as childcare and diversity. Health and wellness focused on improving health care delivery, affordable act coverage expansion, global health and many other issues. Violence against women focused on issues like, protecting students from sexual assault, tools to address this issue, human trafficking and many more. The human trafficking and protecting students against sexual assault is important to me because this school year one of my friends was assault by a family member and she's my age. This one particular opened my eyes that we have to be a voice for the voiceless and raise it up. Entrepreneurship and innovation focused on entrepreneurs and how they can grow and get funding. Leadership and civic engagement focused on issues like business leaderships, public and private sector leadership, being a voice and other things. Lastly, educational opportunity and leadership focused on early childhood education, my favorite STEM education, free college education and international girls education."
Taylor and her hero, the first African American woman to travel to space Dr Mae Jemison.
"Some of my highlights were hearing speeches from The Obamas, Oprah Winfrey and from various CEO’s from all over the U.S. I also met Black Girls Code CEO and leadership from NASA headquarters to name a few. I left this summit engaged and inspired to do more in my city. I also got some time to visit NASA HQ and meet some cool people like chief scientist Dr. Stofan, astronaut Christina Koch and Cherisse Aquil who is in Quality Assurance for the office of the Chief of Financial Officer. She explained to me how funding works for NASA, which is important if I want to make it to Mars. Like she said, “ No bucks, no Buck Rogers (google him, lol).” Lastly, I got to meet senator Bill Nelson who is also a former astronaut like my idol Dr. Mae Jemison. I got to tour his office and meet his staff and interns. He even offered me an internship when I'm older. It was great to meet him and learn more about his advocacy for the space program."
Taylor reading to younger children part of her mission to advocate a love of literacy in children.
"Lastly, this summit gave me a sense even as a 12 year old I can make a difference and continue my advocacy for literacy; but to also be a voice for violence against girls and international education. We all deserve the right to have a great education, be healthy with access to great healthcare and to be safe no matter what zip code you live in. As Oprah and Michelle Obama said, “not everyone can be famous, but you can be great through your service.” There is so much more we need to do not just for women but mankind. I'm standing up for girls like me and to be a positive voice.
Summit booklet had a part where we could write out three action items to accomplish after attending the summit. My three are: Work hard for my and others education, engage more youth to raise their voices up against violence against women and girls, and promote gender equality in families so people like my mom can have better pay to provide for us. I will always love STEM and space, but after this summit my voice through action just got larger!"