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(Editor’s Note: We also have developed a Stylized PPT Video about Mae Jemison. Imagine how both types of media can be employed in a cross-channel marketing communications initiative — Internet, mobile, and social media marketing — for enhancing a brand image and creating goodwill.)
by Kenneth Rudich
For a then six year old Mae Carol Jemison, the 1963 “I have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. was, in her words, “A call to action!”
If by call to action, she meant grow up to become a physician, a scientist, a NASA astronaut and more, then Mae Jemison not only answered Dr. King’s call, she wholeheartedly embraced it. In 1992, she made history as the first African-American woman to go into space while orbiting the earth aboard the space shuttle Endeavor.
In looking back, Dr. King’s speech inspired the young Mae Jemison to dream so big that it created something of a dilemma for her. On the one hand, she loved science. It catered to her sense of wonder and curiosity. On the other hand, she felt passionate about the arts, especially theatre and dance.
Even after entering Stanford University at the extraordinary age of 16, and graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, this same old question still tugged at her. Should she now pursue a professional dance career or go on to medical school? It was her mother’s advice that would ultimately tip the scale. “You can always dance if you’re a doctor,” Mom told her, “but you can’t doctor if you’re a dancer.”
There’s a long cherished belief in the field of education that “The mind is a fire to be lit, not a vessel to be filled.” Mae Jemison personifies a fire that’s surely been lit.
Physician…Scientist…Astronaut…Entrepreneur…Educator…and alas, Dancer…Choreographer…Show Producer.
It never hurts to have a dream. Worldly…or otherwise.
What’s your dream?
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