Our Journey: Tribal Council Recognition and Validation

Impact

An old man was walking along a beach surrounded by hundreds of washed-up starfish. As he walked, he came upon a girl throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one. The old man looked bewildered and asked, “What are you doing?” The young girl replied, “I’m saving stranded starfish.” The old man chuckled aloud, “There are hundreds of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?” The girl picked up another starfish, gently tossed it into the water, turned to the man and said, “I made a difference to that one!” Starfish Proverb

As a small non-profit organization, we understand that making a difference in an underserved community can be challenging. Creating a large event or program seems like a a great way to make an impact, but getting people to sign up and show up can be difficult. Sometimes it’s necessary to create little impacts, and to start with a small group, or even just one individual. Working with one child over many years helps to create a long-lasting relationship. Over time, the bond that forms builds more of an impact than a one-off program or event. As time progresses, a relationship also starts to form with the community. The overall impact, therefore, expands from an individual to an entire community. In this very way, we started helping a small group of girls – sending initially three children per year to Space Camp for the past three years. This in turn cultivated a relationship, where tribal members have said we are now “family.” In the end, we presented at the Pascua Yaqui tribal council, not because we did anything different, but because we’ve consistently helped one child at a time, thus creating a higher degree of improvement and larger social impact.

(Social impact increases by helping more people, or by helping a smaller number of people to a greater degree of improvement. We can increase our social impact by helping a small amount of people to a greater extent and in ways that have long term benefits.*)

The Beginning

Three years ago we started sending Native American children, mostly Pascua Yaqui girls, to Space Camp. Our goal was to send three children for three years, and to keep adding three more children every year. Thus far, we’ve awarded 9 scholarships.

To say there has been a learning curve is an understatement. We were unable to procure funding to send as many kids as we had ambitiously hoped for, but we still accomplished our three-year goal. We persevered, continued with fundraising, and learned not only how to motivate children in STEM learning, but also the many challenges for children who have never left home, never been apart from their families, and never been on an airplane before.

It has been exciting and rewarding watching our scholarship winners board a plane for the first time and visit the airplane’s cockpit. They are now seasoned travelers who can navigate airports and find their connecting flights with confidence.

Tribal Council Recognition and Validation

We were honored to present in front of the Pascua Yaqui Tribal.

At the council meeting, it was powerful to see the moving and emotional reception that these children received. The council members expressed how proud of them they were and how inspiring they were to both adults and kids. They praised their courage and were supportive of their journey and futures stating, “This gives me great hope to see the first Yaqui on the moon. So hopefully you’ll get there, or Mars, or any where else you want to go.”

Will these kids go on to become astronauts, aerospace engineers, or experimental physicists? We don’t know, but what we do know is they have already had a positive affect on those around them and their tribe. They have become role models. They have become our first Taking Up Space ambassadors.

Forward Thinking

We are ready to start new projects and can’t wait to bring science to even more Native children. Our hope is to spread the love of curiosity and critical thinking while inspiring children. We know we can accomplish our goal with your help and support.

Thank you

Thank you Pascua Yaqui Tribal Council, Pascua Yaqui Parents, Pascua Yaqui chaperones – Melissa and Naomi, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe! Thank you to all of our donors, especially Tucson Federal Credit Union and Space Hipsters.

To donate click here: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1530675

*”Can one person make a difference? What the evidence says.”
By Benjamin Todd

Space Camp 2019 or Bust!

We started off in 2017 with cute little girls leaving the Reservation and flying on a plane for the first time. Their excitement was palpable. They were so nervous to leave their families and fly across the country, but they did it. They successfully graduated from Space Camp!

Sole Graduating 2018 with Astronaut Don Thomas

Three years later they’ve matured into young women going to high school and junior high. Only an unimaginable 1% of Native American students complete a math course as high school freshman. With a lump in my throat, we can say Saydee will be part of that 1%! Why? Because she wants to be an astronaut and knows she needs to do well in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). That’s all because she went to Space Camp.

That is the importance of this program. Giving these kids a fighting chance to finish high school, and maybe just maybe, finishing University. We know these kids have the confidence and foundation to do anything.

Let’s give these kids opportunities to pursue what ever they desire.  At the very least, we can support them, and help to inspire big dreams.

With the support of Space HIpster's

We would love to send more kids this year, however, we can’t go to Space Camp without your donation! It’s very expensive to fly from Tucson to Huntsville, and Space Camp registration is not cheap.  We have to raise $6,500 before August. Please help!

Support us by clicking here –> https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1530675

Fundraiser featuring Guitarist Gabriel Ayala!

Want a fun way to help girls get to Space Camp?

Stop by La Cocina, March 6th from 5PM – 10PM, and listen to space expert Francis French; view gorgeous space art by the Tucson-Chapter of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA); hear the beautiful sounds of Pascua Yaqui guitarist Gabriel Ayala; and feast upon delicious food by La Cocina Restaurant & Cantina. MC for the night is Emmy-winner and Meteorite Men TV show host Geoffrey Notkin. Look for astronauts in the audience!  La Cocina is generously donating 10% of your tab to sending Pascua Yaqui girls to Space Camp.

You don’t want to miss this! See you soon!

Who: Pascua Yaqui classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala, space expert Francis French, art by IAAA, with Emmy award winning MC Geoffrey Notkin
What: Fundraiser with Pascua Yaqui guitarist Gabriel Ayala
Where: La Cocina
201 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701
When: March 6, 2018, anytime between 5PM – 10PM

About:
Gabriele Ayala
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A member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona, Gabriel Ayala(Guitarist) is at the forefront of a new generation of Native Americans making a career performing classical music.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona in 1997, has taught at all educational levels from elementary through college, and serves as a competition adjudicator. Although Gabriel truly enjoys being a teacher his busy touring schedule allows him to only teach in masterclass settings.

Geoffrey Notkin
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Emmy Award-winning television host and producer Geoff Notkin starred in three seasons of the cult television adventure series Meteorite Men for Science Channel and two seasons of the educational series STEM Journals for Cox Media. He has also appeared in shows for Discovery, NASA EDGE, TLC, PBS, A&E, National Geographic Channel, History Channel, Travel Channel, and the BBC. He is a science writer, meteorite specialist, photographer, world traveler, and president of Aerolite Meteorites Inc, the world’s largest meteorite company.

Francis French
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Presenting: The Fly In the Ointment
What do you do when you are the only person in a situation who knows you have the solution, but the ‘experts’ are saying something else?  In 1961, NASA was told it had to land humans on the moon by the end of the decade, but one engineer soon realized – NASA was going about it the wrong way. John Houbolt had a plan that would save precious years, and billions of dollars. So, risking his career, he went over their heads. Did he succeed? Francis French, author and Director of Education at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, will discuss that moment many of us face in our careers – when we need to be bold, and fearless, and inspired to follow the right path.

Press Release (PDF)

Can’t make it but still want to help? Donate here via PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1530675

Sponsor: Time in Cosmology and the University of Arizona Math Dept

Imagine the First Pasqua Yaqui Astronauts!

Time in Cosmology

The PY Clubhouse Goes to Space Camp

A unique program is taking up space at the Pascua Yaqui Clubhouse!  We are so pleased to announce our Space Camp Scholarship winners: Yanissa, Sole, Serena and Saydee!  These four girls have been working very hard at the Clubhouse and we are honored to have them attend Space Camp, May 28 – June 2, 2017.  Congratulations to the Taking Up Space Girls!

Taking Up Space (TUS) plans to send four Pascua Yaqui girls to United States Space Camp.  Space Camp Academy graduates such as Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Samantha Cristoforetti, Serena Aunon, Christina Hammock, and Dr. Kate Rubins have become astronauts in partly due to this life changing experience!

The Clubhouse and TUS have prepared the Pascua Yaqui youth by collaborating with four local groups: the Pima Air & Space Museum, Girls Can! Crate, the Physics Factory Bus, and the Southern Arizona Regional Science &…

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Visiting SARSEF

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The Fun Nail Experiment with Sole and Yaya

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Tree Ring Science with Saydee

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Sole, Saydee, Serena, and Yaya are learning about antibodies.

Sole and Sayde sending a message to their mom’s.

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Our first Science Fair Project (SARSEF)!

STEM in Action

The Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF) has been organizing and running the science fair since 1955, and this year we are submitting our first project!  The girls have been working very hard and have had a lot of fun along the way!

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