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.*)
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 learning STEAM, 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 anywhere 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.
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 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.
With over 17,000 members, the Space Hipsters group on Facebook is more than an online forum of space enthusiasts. They’ve extended their reach to bring about real changes in the real world.
Created in February 2011, by writer and blogger Emily Carney, Space Hipsters “embrace the inner space nerd.” They’ve organized field trips and give-aways, many members are space industry experts – including astronauts and their families, and the Space Hipster logo was spotted aboard the International Space Station!
Last year, the Space Hipsters helped send Native American girls aged 9 -11 to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. The space-inspired American Girl Doll, Luciana Vega, was raffled with all of the proceedings going to fund a Space Camp STEM adventure.
Three girls from the Pascua Yaqui tribe in Tucson, Az. were supported by the Space Hipsters generous donation.
We’re pleased to announce that this unusual group of space fans is doing it again! The American Doll, Astronaut Luciana and her collection (worth $300!), is being raffled for only $10 per ticket.
If you missed the opportunity last year this is your chance.
Click ‘Sending Money’ and ‘Sending to a friend’ and use this email: HistorianMom@gmail.com
Be sure and tell us in the ‘Add a note’ section of your purchase who the ticket(s) is for if it’s not the same as the name of the PayPal account owner (you might, for instance, want to buy tickets for three granddaughters & put each of their names on a ticket). Within 36 hours of your purchase you will receive an email with your ticket number on it. Hold on to that e-mail and good luck!
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!
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.
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!
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 &…