I was very young when I decided that I wanted to grow up to be an astrophysicist. As the daughter of an IT manager and the granddaughter of two engineers, I received much support from my family growing up, and spent my elementary and middle school years reading all I could about the universe.
However, in high school, I was suddenly surrounded by boys in my classes, and these boys were not as supportive of my dreams as my family was. After a few years of being told that my math skills weren’t up to face college physics and that no work I put into school would be enough to get a job in my field, I wore down and changed my intended career path. When I got to college, I realized how unhappy I was pursuing a linguistics degree, and, knowing how hard I’m willing to work for what’s important to me, I switched back to astrophysics.
I’m very determined to be an astronomer, but more than that, I want to be a role model for girls facing the same adversity I faced in high school. I want girls to see me excelling in physics, previously a boys-only club, and know that no matter what their peers say, they can do it, too. Being known for my work in astronomy and physics would be great, but knowing I inspired even one girl to follow her dreams is my ultimate goal.