India Jackson, A Single Mom’s NASA Internship Was Funded By Strangers
India Jackson was offered an internship at NASA. When she received this internship, like most people, she was delighted.
However, this was until she realised that she did not have the money to fund her and her daughter’s travel and living expenses. This 32 year old PhD student at the Georgia State University was very worried that she would not be able to bear the expenses, which would run into thousands.
“I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity, but I knew it was going to be very expensive. It wasn’t just the cost of living in Houston, I had to take my daughter into consideration. I also have a house here in Atlanta I would have to continue paying rent on.” India told BBC.
This was exactly when her cousin, Dasha Fuller came into the picture. She came up with the idea of appealing through the GoFundMe page.
Dasha Fuller initial post on the page read: “This is a lifelong dream of hers, and a long time coming, and I am very proud of her. Unfortunately, she is unable to attend. India is a single mother and a struggling graduate student, so money is tight.”
She also wrote that one needs money to get ahead in this country, and that India had worked hard to secure the internship. Dasha did not want her effort to go in vain. This plea for money had caught the attention of many ‘generous donors’. In the short span of 24 hours, this page had acquired over $8000, which was the target.
“It was overwhelming, no words can describe it. Someone donated $1,000, and another just $1, but it doesn’t matter how much. People believed in me, they had my best interests at heart.” India said.
India’s interest and passion in astronomy had blossomed in the 9th grade. This was after she entered a science program and had visited the Fernbank Science Centre in Atlanta. But it was in mathematics that she was truly gifted. After she completed her bachelor’s degree in the subject, she began teaching it. When the time came for her to choose the subjects for PhD, she picked astronomy and physics.
Now she hopes her internship will lead to a fellowship at NASA so she can continue the legacy of African-American women working at the agency, which goes back to the 1940s.
Despite her closing the GoFundMe page, people want to continue donating more money. A comment on her page read, “I came here to donate, but it looks like she’s all covered. What an awesome example you are setting for your daughter. You go girl!”
Another person wrote: “Would love to donate to such a worthy woman. Would you consider opening it up again for incidental costs that she might incur?”
Even though people wanted to donate more, India decided to stop accepting money. “I’m very grateful but I don’t need any more. You don’t do science to make money; you do science to make history.”
We hope that she has a fruitful internship and does well.
Kavya Shah in an intern at SheThePeople.Tv