22-year-old Tierra Guinn is defying odds and making history. While she is still a student at MIT, she is already working at NASA. As a Rocket Structural and Design Analysis, Tierra is working to help build the Space Launch System by Boeing.
Her interest in math and science began at a young age, as her mother would push her to calculate the family grocery total, excluding coupon discounts and including tax. Her interest grew the day she saw a plane fly overhead. “One day I saw a plane fly by and I just had this realization, ‘I can design planes. I’m going to be an aerospace engineer.’ So every middle school class that I chose, it was directed towards that goal. The high school that I chose, that took me an hour to get to everyday, it was because I wanted to be an aerospace engineer.” Tierra now is on track to graduate with a 5.0!
Tierra has already gone above and beyond expectations as a student and millennial, but now she is taking a stance on the importance on young girls seeing black women in the field of science. “You should see a black woman as rocket propulsion engineers, as rocket structural and analysis and design engineers. You should see more women in CEO positions, says Guinn.
The recent film, “Hidden Figures,” has been said to be a source of empowerment for many young women and girls of color. The box office hit that came in at No. 1 on opening weekend, features Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae. It focuses on the three women that helped get the first American into space, during the height of the civil rights era. Tierra says it’s her favorite movie and she also has a message for those interested in math and science. “No matter how tough it may be, no matter how many tears you might cry, you have to keep pushing. And you have to understand that nothing comes easy. Keeping your eyes on the prize, you can succeed.”
We couldn’t be more proud of Tierra and are rooting for her all the way!