Alyssa Carson has paved the way for younger generations ahead. She has set an example for young girls everywhere and shown it is never too early to start following your passion. Whether it is in STEM or any field, Alyssa is an inspiration for women to go after what they want and to never back down. As the youngest astronaut in training, Alyssa Carson is trailblazing her way through STEM. In her Ted Talk, she explains that it is time to ‘change the paradigm.’ As she discusses changing the norm of starting your dream at an early age she is also simultaneously changing the norm of STEM.
Unfortunately, women have been severely lacking representation in STEM for years. Women make up about 24% of the STEM workforce in the United Kingdom and that number is not much different in the United States. As Business Insider recounts Carson met Sandra Magnus, a former astronaut, at a school career day for young women interested in STEM. Meeting Sandra Magnus inspired Carson to chase her dream at an early age. The encounter highlights the importance of representation in the field and the push it can give to younger generations.
Alyssa Carson decided she wanted to go to Mars at the age of three. Ever since that moment, she has never stopped chasing her dream and has created a very impressive list of accomplishments along the way. Carson has worked to take every necessary step to be successful in her feat. This included going to space camp seven times, Space Academy three times, and Robotics Academy once. She obtained her advanced scuba certification to experience an environment without oxygen and she now has her pilot’s license as well. She impressively speaks four languages and is currently learning Russian.
Carson is the youngest graduate of Advanced Space Academy and in 2016 she became the youngest to be accepted and graduate from the Advanced PoSSUM Academy. The PoSSUM academy is intended for undergraduates interested in astronautics and is taught at Florida Tech. With the completion of her applied astronautics certification, she is now officially an astronaut trainee and certified to go to space. More recently, she is working with Jacobs Engineering Group, a NASA contractor, in International Relations-Space Strategic Partnerships, while studying astrobiology on the Space Coast (Florida, USA). Alyssa Carson has achieved what most people aim for in a lifetime in the course of her nineteen years and she is not stopping there. She hopes that she will be one of the first people on Mars in the 2030s.
Alyssa Carson has also recently teamed up with Olay among many other women in STEM to create the face the STEM gap campaign. This campaign sheds light on the lack of representation in the STEM field. Olay is now donating one million dollars to internships and scholarships to double the number of women in STEM-related fields by 2030. Hopefully, more women can be inspired and follow in the footsteps of Alyssa Carson. She exemplifies that it is possible to overcome barriers even when people dismiss you for whatever identity you hold. Alyssa Carson shows that you do not have to settle for the stars you can shoot for Mars and beyond, quite literally.
Feeling inspired? Feeling like you want to ‘change the paradigm?’ As the youngest astronaut in training, Alyssa Carson’s biggest advice is ‘Always follow your dream and don’t let anyone take it from you.’ Find her @nasablueberry on Instagram and @nasablueberry1 on TikTok to feel motivated to take on your biggest dreams. You can learn fun facts about Alyssa and Space while you are at it! Everyone, please watch your step on the way out though! Alyssa Carson just rocketed through the glass ceiling (pun definitely intended). Don’t cut yourself!