Dr. Mae Jemison, born in 1956 in Decatur, Alabama, became the first black woman to travel in space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. While this is an incredible achievement, it is even more amazing that Dr. Jemison first earned degrees in chemical engineering and African and African-American studies from Stanford University. She also earned a medical degree at Cornell University before serving as a doctor in the Peace Corps.
But even at 12 years old, Dr. Jemison knew she wanted to be an astronaut as she felt frustrated with the lack of female crew members aboard the Apollo missions that captivated the nation in the late 1960s. After making her dream come true over 20 years later, she went on to be a successful author, professor, and researcher. She has also established several foundations dedicated to teaching science to young people across the globe.