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Free event on Thursday for teens to hear from NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir

Posted at 7:46 AM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 10:48:20-04

PHOENIX — Teens are invited to hear first hand from a NASA astronaut on Thursday.

Jessica Meir is giving a free virtual presentation hosted by Transportation YOU.

It’s a program through Advancing Women Advancing Transportation, or WTS, that's helping young women reach for the stars.

Once a month, the group invites a speaker in the transportation field to share their story and give inspiration to teens. The talks are geared towards girls ages 13-18 but Michael Book, who helps run the program, says girls and boys are welcome to join.

He says they used to have guest speakers inside of schools, but because of COVID-19 they switched to virtual events.

“It has allowed me to open up the program to basically anyone in Phoenix, in the state or the nation who wants to participate and see a speaker I have and still be able to ask questions,” said Book.

Jillian Barcena says she gained connections through the program that are now helping her advance her career. Barcena is an ASU student studying civil engineering with dreams of one day working on roadway or structural designs.

She says she decided to attend a Transportation YOU meeting on a whim while on the robotics team at Westwood High School in Mesa.

She says initially, she wasn’t sure it was something she’d be interested in, but she stuck with it and grew to really like it. She even attended a national summit in Washington D.C.

“Take all of the opportunities that are given to you. You might be surprised by where it ends up. The worst thing that can happen is you’re bored with it,” Barcena said. “The best thing is that you can set your life path on a trajectory you never expected to take.”

To sign up for Thursday's event, click here.