When I was a kid, I fell in love with the night sky. Even when the war in Afghanistan broke out the night sky was my one constant. I was sure that a little girl much like myself lived in those far away planets. She never showed herself to anyone, but she would show herself to me if I found a way to get to her.
I was going to be an astronaut, so I enrolled in Aerospace Engineering at Arizona State University. Due to family and societal pressures, I dropped out in my fourth year. I enrolled in Computer Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology, but after the birth of my daughter, I dropped out of school altogether. When she was four years old, I entered college again only this time at Cal State East Bay (named Cal State, Hayward at the time). I earned my BA in Liberal Studies and my Teaching Credential through the Blended Program. A year later I returned and obtained my master’s in Educational Leadership.
I taught for four years, and one summer I was selected to become a teacher intern through the IISME program. I spent eight weeks at Lockheed Martin and at the end of the internship, I along with 64 other interns presented our final projects to a roomful of executives. This project showed what we had learned at Lockheed Martin and what we were taking back with us to the classroom. After I presented and returned to my seat an executive turned around and handed me his card. He whispered: “See me when this is over.” After all of the presentations were over, I went to speak with him. He told me that my presentation was good enough to sell to business schools. He also asked me if I was interested in working at Lockheed Martin. The rest as they say is history! I have been with the company for nearly 15 years now.
I am privileged to be working with a group of amazing men and women scientists who push the boundaries of Space every day. I get to truly work on gaming changing technology that is 50 – 65 years ahead of its time. Technology that was once part of science fiction is now a possibility.
There is no such thing as roadside assistance in Space. Knowing that a product has to work in environments that we humans have never experienced is challenging. We get only one shot at launching billion-dollar satellites and they must work on orbit.
Resilience, determination, and your will to get up and try again gets tested daily. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.