YWCP was honored to host Shauna Richards on Friday, December 9th. Shauna is a 2010 graduate of Penfield HS and a 2015 graduate of the University of Buffalo who now works for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston, Texas. Ms. Richards is a Flight Controller who works at the Johnson Space Center helping to control the electrical power system on the International Space Station.
She spoke with 30 YWCP students in grades 7-11 to share her experiences interning and working at NASA, and encouraging them to help eliminate the gender gap in STEM fields. Ms. Richards told the girls she had wanted to work for NASA since the 6th grade and took her first step toward achieving that goal by joining the FIRST Robotics team in high school. Being on the team helped her realize that she liked the mechanical aspect of the team much more than the programming side. She then graduated with a degree in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from the University of Buffalo as one of only four women in her degree program.
“You can achieve anything, you just have to work for it,” she told the students, “My three pieces of advice for you are 1) Work hard for what you want, 2) Don’t be afraid to fail, and 3) Don’t forget to be yourself.”
Ms. Richards interned for NASA during college and was then hired in July 2015.