Some of you may remember that at just 9 years old I raised funds via GoFundMe to attend my first Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and that one day I will be an astronaut, scientist and an engineer. Since then outlets like GoFundMe not only help my STEM dreams come true but others as well. Just this year through GoFundMe I raised over $20,000 to send over a 1000 girls to see the movie Hidden Figures because it was important to me that girls know that with drive, determination, and hard work you be anything, a scientist, a mathematician, an engineer, an astronaut or maybe the President of the United States even when the stacks are against you! I am 14 now and using my voice to not only bring girls of color to STEM/STEAM but all kids all over the U.S. and abroad. Just this summer of 2017, I gave one girl the chance of a lifetime to attend Space Camp, by offering my first Astronaut StarBright Space Camp scholarship. Since then I’ve had so many people write me to ask how I can help them get to Space Camp, do I have a website, how can I contribute to my cause! And whether it be through my Taylor’s Take Flight with a Book club to inspire kids to take flight to their dreams and aspirations by having home libraries, which to date has collected and donated over 5000 books to kids in Jacksonville, Florida, attending the first ever United State of Woman summit in 2016, speaking at the first ever 2017 March for Science in Washington D.C., letting over 100,000 people know that I’m just not a girl in STEM but a Black Girl Who Rocks STEM, I am definitely showing people that you better get used to me and other girls in STEM because we aren’t going anywhere! I am humbly grateful to have graced the covers of Scholastic Science World (Oct 2017), Women in Aviation 2017 Girls for Aviation and Kid News Maker magazine reaching over 1000s of youth across the world. And if that wasn’t enough I team up with the Ireland based STEAM doll company Lottie Dolls to inspire Astro Adventures a Space suit for its dolls. I’ve been so blessed to have this platform and it has allowed me to break some barriers and let all girls know that not only can they dream STEM/STEAM big they can be leaders at those tables as well. So what’s next. Well I want to continue my mission to bring diversity and gender equality to the STEM field, by running various projects and initiatives to make this happen. All funds raised will go towards projects, events, and scholarships to meet those ends. Here are some specific ways I will use the funds. Attend a once in a lifetime event in California, to further spread why not only representation matters but having a seat at the STEM table matters for girls like me across the world! This will also give me a chance to meet important people in the STEM field, who will hopefully help me increase the scope of my work. $1,500 needed. Run an improved Taylor’s Take Flight with book drive/club where I can provide kids access to free and new STEM books instead of collection of used ones so their imagination and dreams can turn into a STEM/ STEAM reality. Create an Astronaut StarBright website to include marketing materials like t shirts, photos, and other products but most importantly a better way to reach my existing followers and gain new ones via internet or face to face encounters to inspire, engage and act! And finally... provide resources to girls and kids by raising funds to create a StarBright fund.This fund will offer annual Space camp scholarships to at least 3 girls a year. My goal is to raise $15,000. This will cover my first year’s expenses for STEM resources and help me reach even more youth. Maybe even a major sponsor to have my own StarBright Foundation! Supporting this project means you support not only diversity but gender equality in STEM. Kids come in all shapes and sizes, races and ethnicities, and sometimes with special needs and disabilities. KIDS NEED REPRESENTATION so that he or she can take pride in who they are and know that they are more than capable of being anything they put their minds to. Well that about covers it! I want to thank those who have supported me thus far and I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for for us youth especially girls in the world in STEM! It’s going to be STEMtastic! Thank you! Taylor aka Astronaut StarBrigh
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