Dorothy Vaughan Dorothy Vaughan – NASA
Black History Month is an important time to reflect on the incredible ways in which Black Americans have contributed to the success of this country and world.  At Strong Women, Strong Girls we work to celebrate the accomplishments of black female role models for our girls all year long, but the month of February reminds us that it is important take a step back from our work as usual, and highlight the accomplishments of black female role models for our greater SWSG community.  Every week this month, we will post about a historical, groundbreaking black woman, with at least two of our weeks focusing in on black women from our home cities of Boston and Pittsburgh. Please join us in elevating the stories of those Black women who paved the way, because Black history is American history.
To kick us off we are highlighting a group of women who have been receiving a great deal of media attention as of late. Although their work spans back decades. The recent blockbuster film “Hidden Figures” showcases the amazing power of black women. All three of the women involved in getting a man on the moon were incredibly driven dreamers and doers. Not only did they accomplish incredible feats, they did so whilst under intense discrimination from their employers and the general public. They were empowered women who defied prejudiced expectations.
Mary Jackson at work in NASA (NACA) Mary Jackson – NASA
Mary Jackson is not just a role model for women of color in the engineering field, but an icon for mentors everywhere. While doing incredible work at NASA (then called NACA), she continued to lift up the youth in her community. Whilst continuing her mentoring as a Girl Scout troop leader she also helped the youth in her community build a wind tunnel to conduct experiments to “get them interested in science”, she went on to say that “sometimes [the youth] are not aware of the number of black scientists,”. While working to get a man on the moon, Mary Jackson still found time to lift up the youth in her community and help them see their inner strengths.