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Inspirational Yarn – Mae

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Mae, tone number 6, is named after the first black woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison.

She was interesting in science as a young child but not encouraged by her teachers who suggested she didn’t want to be a scientist but rather a nurse. She says ‘the best way to make dreams come true is to wake up!’ Take your dreams as a challenge and a call to action.

‘It’s your place in the world; It’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it and make it the life you want to live.’

Mae Jemison – Engineer, Physician and Astronaut

Mae also wanted to be a dancer and aimed for both a career as a doctor and as a dancer. I love the attitude of her mother who said, ‘You can always dance if you’re a doctor, but you can’t doctor if you’re a dancer.’

When Mae saw Sally Ride become a female astronaut she realised doors were opening and still with her original dream of becoming an astronaut, she reapplied to NASA and went into space in 1992.

She says her parents were the best scientists because they were always asking questions.

And she even got to appear in an episode of Star Trek (of which I am very excited about!).

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Inspirational Yarn – Sue

Dr Sue Black is best known as a computer scientist, a University lecturer and researcher. The leading force behind the renovation of Bletchley Park, the World War II centre for decrypting enemy messages and the woman behind #techmums, teaching women computer skills in the belief that teaching mothers computer skills in turn teaches their children and eventually teaches the community.

That alone is a reason to name a yarn shade after Sue, but there’s so much more to her that I think has seen her being awarded an OBE and many awards for computer science.

Her passion for empowering women to understand technology and social media, especially in some of the more deprived parts of the country also helps encourage women who perhaps will find self confidence in learning skills they might have felt surpassed them.

 

‘Get out there and do the things you want to do.

You’ve only got one life so

Go for it!’

– Dr Sue Black OBE, FBCS, FRSA

 

But for me, what really inspires me is that Sue comes from humble beginnings.

Sue left school at 16, got married at 20 and by age 23 had three children.

By the age of 25 she was a single mother of three children living in a women’s refuge in Brixton.

She enrolled in night school and then university, eventually becoming a university lecturer. Education was her transport for getting the career she wanted and the ability to change her life for the better.

For myself, as someone who came late to appreciating education, I found university often very difficult, but to do a day at university while caring for three children is just an example of the strength Sue must have had. She overcame difficult challenges and proved that just because a person doesn’t succeed in high school, doesn’t mean education has closed its door.

Sue inspires those of us who have felt ‘less than’ because we didn’t have the right start. Her determination to get an education and then to work so hard to make sure that she passes on her education to others is what makes her an inspiration.

Click here to hear Sue Black Speaking at the Inspirefest conference.

In a similar way, dolls can be used to inspire children through play and can transcend all restraints of society. No one ever tells a doll she can’t be a scientist because she didn’t get the right qualification, a doll simply becomes a scientist. Through the dolls limitless career choices a child can dream dreams beyond the realms of her community or family status.

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