RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Dr. Christine Darden has dedicated most of her life to being a mathematician, data analyst and aeronautical engineer with NASA – but getting there wasn’t easy.
She shared her story with students at Wake Stem Early College on Monday.
“I hope they get inspired and stay inspired,” Darden said. “When opportunities arise you’ve got to be ready for them.”
It’s a journey so monumental, Darden was featured in the novel “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race.”
The book takes place from the 1930s through the 1960s, and depicts Darden’s time at NASA – a time when women weren’t viewed in the same light as men.
Darden, along with other African American women, overcame discrimination to lead groundbreaking work during the Space Race.
Darden says she spent extensive time researching supersonic flight and sonic booms.
Sophomore Nadia Samah said she felt inspired after hearing Darden’s presentation.
“I found it very empowering that this strong woman was able to come in and talk to us,” Samah said. “It shows me that I can make my dreams come true, as well, if I just take the initiative and go forward.”
Darden said she stays busy with her children, grand children and great-grand children.
She’s also working on a NATO project and says she is proud that a large emphasis is being placed on women being just as involved as men.