As a single mother at Georgia State University, India Jackson,32, is used to beating all the odds placed against her in order to thrive.
Jackson, who is studying to obtain her doctorate in psychics at the collegiate institution, scored an opportunity of a lifetime a few weeks ago when she was selected to attend the NASA summer intern program.
But through all of the joy, she was a bit perplexed on how she would raise the money and juggle her responsibilities while making the move to Houston for the 10-week program. The scholarship offers students a stipend, but they are responsible for their travel, room and board.
“I have to pay for rent in two places now, I have to rent a car, I have food, I have my child. What am I going to do?” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, recalling her anxiety over how she would make a way. So, Jackson ultimately decided to skip out on the opportunity.
And while she is a single mother to a 12-year-old daughter, Jackson’s tribe came through in full effect to help her secure the funds she desperately needed. Jackson’s cousin, Dasha Fuller, launched a GoFundMe page in order to make sure that Jackson-Henry’s dreams came true.
“I am honored to tell everybody that my cousin, India Jackson, has been awarded an opportunity of a lifetime,” Fuller wrote. “She’s been selected to be a NASA Intern at the Johnson Space Center for 10 weeks in Houston, TX. She is set up to research solar energetic particles and how they affect the astronauts at the International Space Station and how they could possibly affect the astronauts going to Mars!”
But Fuller goes on to make a crucial point about access and wealth equality, which restricts many Black students from seizing opportunities such as these.
“This is yet another example of how poverty-stricken students of color are left out, left behind, or miss out on life-changing opportunities. You must have money in order to get ahead in this country. She worked hard for this opportunity and I don’t want to see all of her lifelong work gone to waste due to financial hardship,” Fuller wrote.
The campaign raised $8,510 dollars in one day, surpassing its initial goal of $8,000. Now she will attend the program along with her daughter to study high-intensity radiation events and solar flares, all to advance space travel.
Congratulations to India and her daughter as they take on this new journey!
PHOTO CREDIT: Essence