Former NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison will speak about her diverse background in engineering, medicine, education and entrepreneurship at Thursday’s 21st annual Lunch for the Girls.
Thursday’s event is hosted by Girls Inc. and will take place at the CHI Health Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is sold out.
Jemison began her career in medicine, graduating from Cornell University Medical College in 1981, according to a press release. She worked as a general practitioner in Los Angeles before becoming a Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Jemison switched career paths when she became the first African American woman to be admitted into the NASA astronaut training program in 1987. She traveled to space aboard the Endeavour in 1992, becoming the world’s first woman of color to travel to space.
After leaving NASA, Jemison started a technology consulting firm that incorporates sociocultural considerations into technical and engineering design, the press release said. Jemison leads the 100 Year Starship, a nonprofit initiative focused on establishing the capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system within the next 100 years.
Jemison is also the founder of The Earth We Share, an international science camp, and is one of the series hosts for National Geographic’s “One Strange Rock” program and space operations adviser for its global miniseries “MARS.”
Jemison is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, an inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the National Medical Association Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame and recipient of the National Organization for Women’s Intrepid Award, according to the press release.
“We are very excited to feature Mae Jemison — the very first Black woman to travel in space — at Lunch for the Girls,” Girls Inc. Executive Director Roberta Wilhelm said. “She is a champion of STEM for girls and that aligns so well with much of our work and the girls’ explorations. She is also a medical doctor, an author, a dancer and choreographer, a civil rights activist, an environmental scientist, and a performer. She demonstrates to the girls that, contrary to popular wisdom, the sky is not actually the limit.”
Girls Inc. is an Omaha-area nonprofit that provides education, cultural and recreational opportunities for girls ages 5 to 18. The nonprofit’s mission is to inspire all girls to be “Strong, Smart and Bold.”