LW_Mag_WINTER_FINAL (1) (2014) - Page 4

GIVING. PRAYING. FASTING 4 Engineer Encourages Girls and Young Women to Pursue S.T.E.M. Careers By Karen A. Stewart-Ross One day during the summer of 1999, when the R & B group Destiny’s Child was singing about bills, bills, and more bills, and the world was bracing itself for what could very well be its demise, a seed planted by a determined mother long ago was being cultivated in a young Tracee Walker Gilbert. On that day, she sat mesmerized by an inspirational speech being given by an incredible woman-a N.A.S.A. engineer and the first AfricanAmerican to earn a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Howard University. “I remember her distinctly and I can just remember the impact of her just coming and talking to us and just showing us that if she could do it, then I had the potential to do it as well. …,” said