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First African American Woman in Space visits ECU

Doctor Mae Jemison speaks at the Wright Auditorium

The first African-American woman to go into space paid a special visit to East Carolina University.
Doctor Mae Jemison spoke at the Wright Auditorium Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
"I want people to know that they have choices, and it's the choices they make that determine their life,” Jemison said.
Her story is as incredible as her achievements.
Doctor, researcher, astronaut, teacher, explorer, scientist and even “star trek fan” are just a few of her countless titles.
She has chemical engineering degree, African American studies degree, and a medical degree. But she doesn’t keep it all to herself. She's using her knowledge and experience to inspire others.
"What I want to do is to make sure that everybody knows they have the right and capability to be involved with space exploration, science, engineering, math, and also have a right to influence the world. I think it’s what you do with your place at the table, what to do with your title rather than just holding it,” said Jemison.
Her message to the students is to strive for more than just a degree.
"You also have to figure out what kind of person you want to be and that's at the root. You want to explore, make sure you have character which will hold you through these things, and you need to make a contribution to society. It’s not sufficient to just be about me,” she said.
To this day, Jemison is involved in dozens of programs, camps, and organizations aimed to keep science and exploration alive in today's society. Although she's retired from NASA, she's not done with space quite yet.
"You have to continue exploring and building new worlds and so what I’m working on now is 100 Year Starship which is: how do we send humans to another star system?”
Jemison says the key is to do things bigger than ourselves.
"If life is boring, it's because you’re not paying attention,” she said.
Here's more information on 100 Year Starship - an organization dedicated to getting humans travel beyond our solar system within 100 years.

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