“Hi, my name is Joalda, and I’m a 15 year old sophomore from Tampa, FL. Wanting to become an astronaut is something that grew on to me gradually. Like many others, space was something that interested me, but it was in 2014 that I started acting on it.
I was just browsing through YouTube when I stumbled across a video that changed my life. It was a video of a man making a sandwich, but it wasn’t just any man and no ordinary sandwich. It was Astronaut Chris Hadfield making a sandwich while up on the International Space Station.
When I first saw the video, I was pretty confused since I had little knowledge of who he was and what the International Space Station actually was either. So after doing a bit of research, I gained more knowledge about everything. I kept watching more and more videos, and the more I watched, the more inspired I got.
This is when it sparked in my mind: I wanted to become an astronaut.
I had a history of not being able to make up my mind, so when I told others what my dreams were, they weren’t so keen about it. Some people laughed it off. Some made slightly hateful comments. There was this one kid who even said I wouldn’t make it because of the color of my skin. I guess he wasn’t informed that your appearance shouldn’t stop you from achieving a goal. So after all of this, I was pretty discouraged and almost forgot about my goal.
2015 came, and I decided to look on the internet for some space related activities I could do as a teen. I then stumbled on a website called Future Engineers. They were hosting this contest where you could design a 3D container that could possibly be printed and used up on the International Space Station. I decided that I should enter, since there was nothing really to lose. After submitting my design, I then decided that I should go back to my goal of becoming an astronaut, and not let any discouragement get to me.
So I revamped my Twitter account, and decided to start this blog. I started my journey to becoming an astronaut, and becoming one of the first to reach planet Mars. And since then, everything has been going great. I met lots of supportive people, and even got the opportunity to meet Chris Hadfield himself and ask a few questions! I know that if I keep continuing on this track, I’ll reach my goal of becoming an astronaut, and maybe even being able to go to Mars. So now, I’m just seeing where life will take me, and see all the people that I hope to inspire.”
Despite all the opposition she has faced in the past, Joalda is as motivated as ever to achieve her dream of becoming an astronaut. She hopes her perseverance and bravery will inspire those around her to break free of any constricting boundaries and achieve their dreams! With the goal of becoming the first female African-American astronaut on mars, Joalda knows it isn’t going to be an easy path. But she is ready- to achieve her goal, and help you get to yours.
You can read more about Joalda’s adventures and keep up with new space news via the links below!