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Presenting the NATO of CA/NV 2017 Scholarship Winners...

Sometimes it is hard to stand tall when society keeps pushing you down. As Americans, we are given the right to express our individualism and views through our voice. As women, we often have difficulties expressing our voice when we are looked at as the less credible gender. Most times it is even harder to have our voice heard if we are barely noticed in the first place. It is a sad reality that we have been living with since the beginning of time, especially within academia. In the 1960’s, not only did African Americans have to fight and stick up for what they believe in, but women did too. In the capturing movie Hidden Figures, three women fight to have their voice heard and change the stigma of how women are viewed in the fields of math and science in hope that they can make American history.

The movie starts off being set in the early 1960’s right after Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802. This order banned discrimination of industry or government workers because of their race, color, creed, or national origin. Although this order was in standing, many women were still invisible in the workplace and were treated unfairly. Katherine Johnson, the main character in this film, works for NASA Langley in a segregated area as a “human computer” solving mathematical problems for NASA’s launch programs. She is invisible when moved to an almost all male sector and her work is overlooked. Working alongside her are friends Mary Jackson, an aspiring engineer, and Dorothy Vaughan, a naturally born supervisor. Throughout the movie, the women push through the hardest challenges possible to make breakthroughs in science and mathematical technologies. Johnson provided the equations that helped send astronaut John Glenn to orbit around space. Jackson was persistent so much that she went before a judge to convince him to let her attend night classes at an all-white school to become the first NASA woman engineer. Vaughan was relentless and didn't give up until she was the first woman African American supervisor for NASA. All three women believed in themselves and their work as to set a precedent for women in the fields of math and science.

It is truly an inspiring story of how we must always fight for women’s rights. It teaches us to go against social norms and to embrace our individualism. As the next generation, young women need to watch this movie as they are the ones who will be taking the next steps to make the future a better place for women, especially in science. We have the opportunity in life to change history and create equality for ourselves amongst our nation. Being a woman, it’s important to fight in order to be equally represented in the workplace. As a young woman interested in a science career, it’s especially inspiring to see that history can be made if we set our mind to it.

This film should be shown to everyone because it is a story about how three individuals worked hard to overcome discrimination and how they created advancements for future women today. It is not just a story about race, it’s about how these women broke down barriers between genders in the workplace to obtain their goals in life. Being mistreated only made these women want to work and strive harder for what they believed in. They were struck down and fell only to get back up again and again until they felt as if they were truly heard. These women not only made history and advancements in America during the space race, but worked hard to advance women’s rights so that other women could follow in their footsteps. We no longer have to be hidden, but rather can stand tall as we make history together.

 

 

 

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