Mea C. Jemison

Mae C. Jemison was the first black female astronaut. She is also a doctor and a scientist. One of the reasons she was so accomplished was because her parents were very supportive of her and they encouraged her curiosity and intelligence. She was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur Alabama. Mae had two other siblings. Mae was the youngest child in her family. Her parents were Charlie Jemison and Dorothy Jemison. The Jemison family moved to Chicago, Illinois when she was three, because there were better opportunities for education there. At a very young age Mae knew that she wanted to study science, and wanted to go to space. Her curiosity and her parent’s encouragement helped Mae become very smart, and she graduated high school with honors.

Not only did she graduate high school with honors, she also got a scholarship to Stanford. She continued to be interested in science, and decided to further pursue her interest at Stanford. Mae also took classes that involved space, because of these studies she considered joining NASA. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. After graduating Stanford she went to Cornell Medical University. While attending Cornell University she studied in different places like Cuba and Kenya. After she graduated from medical school she became a doctor.

Mae’s first medical job was as an intern at the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Medical Center. After Mae’s internship she became a general practitioner. For two years and a half she was Peace Corps medical officer. She also taught, and did medical research. After her medical work, she took graduate level engineering courses, which helped her pursue her dreams of working at NASA. She was one of the few people to be picked to be an astronaut.

In 1989 Mae Jemison was picked to be part of a special team called STS-47. The STS-47 group of astronauts was being used to test a new astronaut position. This group of astronauts was important, because it was the first time they were doing science experiments in space. After this mission, she left NASA. She did other important work, even after she did these amazing things. When she left NASA, she founded The Jemison Group Inc and the Dorthy Jemison Foundation. These organizations focus on what she dedicated her life to, science. Mae Jemison has done so much amazing work, people have recognized this and have given her awards. Mae Jemison has received many different awards such as the Essence Science and Technology and the Ebony Black Achievement awards.

“Mae C. Jemison.”, A&E Networks Television, 8 July 2019,

“Mae Jemison.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Sept. 2019,