Leslee, 16 – Funded

Leslee’s dreams for the future are nothing short of out of this world — literally. She wants to be an on-board mathematician or engineer for NASA and later transition to being an on-board scientist. So, it’s important to this junior at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington D.C. to select a college with a good astronomy program and preferably one that’s partnered with NASA’s National Space Grant program.

What is something you are most proud of?

In October 2019, I took the PSAT for the second time in my high school career and got one of the highest scores in my school with an 1100! It is one of my greatest achievements.

Have you gone through any tough or challenging times? If yes, how did you deal with those challenges?

I have gone through many tough and challenging times. Many of those have reduced my motivation for school and my future. But, I had to remind myself how much I want this career and how amazing I could look in an astronaut’s suit (ha ha!).

What does it mean to you to be selected as a Girl on the Rise?

It sets me up for the future I yearn for — while also opening my eyes to other college and career possibilities. I am an analyst, so I like to see different careers and colleges from other people’s perspectives. And, I’m also ambitious, so I feel like this is setting myself up to persevere in the future even if it’s on a different, yet (still) successful path.

What inspired you to want to be involved with Girls on the Rise?

There are many things that  inspired me to be involved. Being a woman; being raised (and currently living) in a low-income area; not being involved in sports… I’ve found that many colleges tend to look in lower income areas for sports players, but that’s not me. What I have so far experienced in my life has shown me that it’s best to start preparing for my future earlier rather than later.

How will funding from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? In other words: Why is the opportunity to visit your prospective colleges important to your journey?

It will help me reach my goals by providing me with the funds to visit my prospective colleges. This is important to my journey because, in visiting these colleges, I can learn more about them and find out whether I really do or do not want to attend them!

What schools will you use the funding to visit, and why?

I will use the funding to visit schools with thriving astronomy programs. I have found a few that I’ve taken a liking to: Howard University, Washington State University, Morgan State University, and College Of Charleston.