Dorothy “Dottie” Metcalf-Lindenburger, the daughter of two teachers with a love of the space program, has “The Right Stuff.” As a NASA astronaut who flew with the crew of STS-131 to the International Space Station, Ms. Metcalf-Lindenburger has risen to heights that make those of the Mile High City of Denver, in which she grew up, pale by comparison.
If I could ask Dottie any three questions I would ask her:
- What was the coolest thing you did during your fifteen days of time at the international space station?
- What do you do now that you have retired from being an astronaut?
- What was the NEEMO 16 mission like? I have never heard about those types of missions conducted by NASA so I was wondering what you and your team achieved during this mission.
– “I deserve to be there!”
1978 was the first time a woman flew in space and 1978 was the first time that NASA decided to hire people outside of the military. Good questions that you should ask yourself are who has influenced me to be where I am today and who has mentored me thus far in life. A good time of life that changes people is high school. It is a critical time because you come closer to learning what you finally want to be when you grow up. Mentors, teachers, and coaches do not need to be exactly like you but they just need to see your potential. Men can mentor young women and women can mentor young men, and it has been proven that having someone unlike yourself believe in you makes a big difference!
Lack of diversity in places like high school and the workplace causes the culture of that environment to be much more close-minded. When you are in a place that feels against you how do you create the culture of acceptance and equality? Even if you don’t think it at the time, you deserve to be there. You have been put here for a reason and it is because you are qualified enough to be doing it even if you aren’t like the people around you.