Taylor Denise Richardson is a 14-year-old STEM advocate who has always desired to be an astronaut and engineer. Also known as “Astronaut StarBright,” Richardson first gained recognition for her activism at just 9 years old when she raised funds to help pay for her trip to a Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. Bullied for her skin color, she realized the need for additional representation when she was the only Black girl at Space Camp.
“I want girls to know that they can not only touch the stars, but they are already their own special and unique star”Taylor Richardson
“Girls, especially black girls, deserve to believe they can do calculations and send astronauts to the moon,” said Richardson.
In the last five years, Richardson has raised over $19,000 to help send young girls to see the box office hits Hidden Figures and A Wrinkle in Time, both of which feature leading women of color. It doesn’t just stop there, Richardson has always found a way to give back to the other young girls in her community. With the “Taylor’s Take Flight With a Book” program, she has helped raise money and reach more than 500 with the donation of 8,000 STEM-related books.
In the midst of her inspiring resilience, Richardson has teamed up with Lottie Dolls to create her very own doll that would inspire other young girls to pursue a career in STEM.
At the 2018 Inspire Fest, Taylor and Lottie Dolls CEO and co-founder Ian Harkin announced the new doll, according to Silicon Republic.
The dolls are expected to hit the shelves just in time for annual Christmas shopping. While the dolls aren’t available for purchase, Havana Chapman-Edwards, a girl inspired by Taylor’s advocacy for young girls in STEM was gifted one of the first dolls.
Then we became FaceTime friends to talk about space and practice our Spanish.
— Havana (@TheTinyDiplomat) June 25, 2018