How The Arts Helped Astronaut Mae Jemison Succeed

Are you passionate about changing the world through STEM?

Pursuing a career in any field associated with Science, Math, Engineering and  Technology can be a monumental challenge.  There will be a great deal of technical training you will experience throughout high school and college.  This will involve hours of intriguing research, design and testing of projects you will have the opportunity to be a part of developing.   It is true that you will be competing with many others for future jobs but I know one way you can gain a competitive edge. Get involved in the arts!

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to orbit the earth in the 1992 understood this.  Dr. Jemison attended Stanford University at the age of 16 then made history as an astronaut.   She is also an incredibility skilled dancer.

Dr. Jemison said in an interview with Scholastic “I love dancing! I took all kinds of dance- African dancing, ballet, jazz, and modern- even Japanese dancing.  I wanted to become a professional dancer.”  It was her passion for the creative arts that nurtured her skills of retention, that fostered her unwavering discipline and that boosted her confidence.

She was able to put those lessons to use throughout everything she pursued and her achievements speak for themselves.

If you have a hobby, stick with it as you pursue your studies. Look for artistic ways to express yourself through music, art and theater.  Believe me, just like Mae Jemison, you will reap the benefits of greater focus, determination, and creativity in your life and career.

This piece comes to us from one of our talented content contributors, Khalid Birdsong. His bio is below and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!

Khalid Birdsong is a freelance writer, cartoonist and teaching artist. He loves enjoying a good story in books or on film and traveling the world to explore new lands and cultures with his family.  You can learn more about Khalid’s writing and comics at and

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