PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Friday May 19, 2017 – Trinidadian-born NASA aerospace engineer Dr. Camille Wardrop Alleyne has an extraordinary story of success, and she’s on a mission to inspire thousands of girls across the organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to greatness.
She had a fascination with space and planes from an early age, and left her homeland at 17 years-old determined to study aeronautical engineering.
Years later, the curious and industrious youngster found herself stepping through the doors of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Centre in Florida as a spacecraft engineer. And 14 years after that, she came close to actually going into space when she was shortlisted in NASA’s astronaut selection programme.
Now the OECS Commission has partnered with the NASA space scientist and founder of the Brightest Stars Foundation to motivate girls in the sub-region to achieve against all odds.
Dr. Alleyne will tell her story using the film ‘Hidden Figures’ to motivate, inspire and empower 10,000 girls throughout the region to reach their full potential.
Her message is simple – dream big dreams and know there is no limit to success with hard work, determination, focus and a strong self-esteem.
“When you empower and inspire youth to believe in themselves and their capacity for greatness, they embrace their power to be the leaders of tomorrow – leaders who will create positive and lasting change in their communities and our world,” she said.
‘Hidden Figures’ tells the true story of the brilliant African-American women mathematicians who NASA hired in the late 1950s. They were instrumental in calculating the flight trajectories that made the mission of the first American to orbit the Earth – John Glenn – successful.
The Eastern Caribbean leg of the 10,000 Girls Tour aims to host 1,500 girls in each island, with a particular focus on underserved rural and urban communities. Dr. Alleyne and her team plan to visit at least 10 Caribbean islands by the end of the year.
Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules has strongly endorsed the initiative, saying that “the OECS Education Strategy is committed to gender equality, and that the promotion of science, technology, engineering and maths was an important element in the educational formation of young Caribbean women.
“We are hopeful that this will ignite a passion for the sciences among our girls,” he said.