"Passion coupled with hard-work, grit, and perseverance will get you extremely far." We honestly could not agree more with Naia Butler-Craig who graduated High School at the age of 17, and now at 20 years of age has already navigated gracefully through aeronautical college. She is truly a force to be reckoned with!
Name: Naia Butler-Craig
Current University: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
STEM Career Path: Currently working as a pathways intern at NASA Glenn Research Center in the science and space technology systems.
Degree Track: Aerospace Engineering
KH: What made you want to pursue aerospace engineering?
NC: So I had always been a science/math geek but in 8th grade I took a space science class and fell so deeply in love with space. Shortly after I research careers that involved all 3 and Aerospace Engineering was the trifecta
KH: What has been the most interesting part of your career?
NC: The most interesting part of my career so far, has been the work I’m doing this summer. I’m working as a component level/systems integration and test engineer of a sub-kilowatt Hall thruster. It is the exact field I want to work in after I graduate with my PhD!
KH: I see you are a STEMpreneur. Tell me more about your blog space:
NC: I just run a little encouragement/education
blog called @blackgirlsinstem. I also volunteer for a nonprofit called Dreams Soar, Inc. Which aims to inspire girls to pursue STEM and aviation careers.
KH: How do you enjoy your weekends?
NC: School weekends include, some relaxation but mostly class work. During the summer, I spend my weekends doing my hw for my summer class, hanging out with other interns and preparing to apply to grad school!
KH: For young black girls/women that are interested in pursuing Aerospace engineering, how do they get there?
NC: To become an aerospace engineer you need to have the passion. Passion coupled with hard-work, grit and perseverance will get you extremely far. It’s never too early to seek out colleges with notable programs and explore internship (paid and unpaid) opportunities.
KH: Best advice you ever received?
NC: Best advice I ever received to believe in myself. Period. It makes all the difference in how I perform
KH: Why is it so important to get more women into STEM fields?
NC: It’s important that more women are in STEM fields because STEM affects people from all walks of life. STEM covers everything from medicine to space. STEM people do things that affect the greater good of humanity (cure for a disease, colonization of another planet, architecture, civil engineering, designing cars etc) We need representation in all fields where the greater good of humanity is involved because they affect us too. Our minds, ideas, desires and well--being all matter. And we deserve a seat at the table where the greater good of humanity is being discussed.
Thank you Naia For Being Such A Wonderful Inspiration!
Stay Connected with Naia on her social media platforms:
Dreams Soar Fundraiser: https://dreamssoar.networkforgood.com/projects/15779-naia-butler-craig-s-fundraiser