Thursday, January 4, 2007


Sample Biography

Mae Jemison: Star Child

Have you ever dreamed of flying freely through outer
space surrounded by a sea of stars? Mae Jemison
fulfilled that dream. On September 12, 1992, aboard the
spaceship Endeavour, she became the first
African-American woman to blast into outer space. This
wasn’t the only time, however, that Jemison had reached
for the stars and realized her dreams.

Jemison was born on October 17, 1956, in Decatur,
Alabama, but she grew up in Chicago, Illinois. There
weren’t many African-American female role models while
Jemison was growing up, but she didn’t let that stop her
from achieving her goals. She was especially interested in
anthropology, archaeology and astronomy. Luckily, her
parents encouraged those interests. That encouragement
drove her to excel. She graduated from high school at 16!
Then she earned degrees in chemical engineering and
African-American studies at Stanford University. Soon after,
she graduated from Cornell University’s medical school.
No obstacle was too great for Jemison to overcome!

Jemison’s accomplishments did not end there. In 1981,
she joined NASA’s space program in Houston, Texas. In
1988, however, Jemison realized her biggest dream: She
finally became an astronaut! Just four years later, she
was named Science Mission Specialist (another NASA first)
on the Endeavour flight.

Today she encourages young people, especially women
and girls, to study the sciences. Her life example teaches
us to follow our dreams, no matter how great!

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