There is a famous Disney quote that says, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Katya Echazarreta, a 26-year-old electrical engineer, just confirmed this quote to be true.
Recently, this young woman had the opportunity to fly to space along with five other space enthusiasts on a rocket built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The young woman was selected among thousands of participants who applied for this opportunity sponsored by the nonprofit Space for Humanity, an organization that looks to “expand access to space for all of humanity.”
“Every night, I’ve been dreaming about being in space,” she said.
But Katya did not only achieve her “wildest” dream, she also achieved the title of the first Mexican-born woman to go to space. This title means more to her than words can express, especially because her path hasn’t been easy.
Katya was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, but her family moved to the United States when she was only 7 years old. She recalls that this transition was very difficult for a young little girl like her because she didn’t speak any English.
“Being in an environment where I didn’t understand what was going on, and kind of hearing my teachers saying things like that is possible that I’m going to have to be held back, it really fueled me,” said Katya. “I think ever since then, ever since third grade, I kind of just went off, and I have not stopped.”
When she was 17 years old, Katya’s family went through some financial issues, so she did not hesitate to step in to help. Ever since then, she has worked a variety of jobs, including at McDonald’s. With this job, she became her family’s main breadwinner, which was not easy but helped make her into the woman she is today. At some point, she had four different jobs to help pay for her college education.
“Through every single moment of struggle and obstacle, there is something for us to learn,” said Katya. “It just makes us so much stronger for any future obstacles that might come around.”
During her work at NASA and while attending other space events, Katya says she has noticed a lack of diversity in the space industry. This is why she is making it her mission to empower others in her community to pursue their dreams, specifically in science.
“It was not enough for me to have made it, I needed to also help bring others with me,” said Katya. “There’s so many people in this world who dream about the same things that I was dreaming about and yet, I’m not seeing them here, so what’s happening?”
Katya is an inspiration not only to her community, her family, and her friends, but she is also an inspiration to so many people all around the world and a living proof that dreams do come true.
At just 26 years old, Katya has already accomplished her childhood dream, but we know for sure this is just the beginning. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for her!
Share Katya’s amazing story to congratulate her on her achievement!
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