Meet Diana Trujillo – who despite being a 17 year old immigrant arriving to America with no English skills and only $300 dollars in her pocket – was able to work her way from housekeeper to becoming an aerospace engineer at NASA who helped create the robotic arm for Mars rover Perseverance.

From teen immigrant to NASA engineer: How Diana Trujillo is leaving her mark on Mars

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As a teen immigrant from Colombia, Diana Trujillo cleaned homes to pay her engineering education at the University of Florida. Now, she’s leaving her mark on Mars.

It’s a story where the saying “reach for the stars” fits perfectly. Like NASA’s Mars Perseverance mission, Trujillo’s journey to the stars is one that will leave you in awe.

“My dream of working for NASA not knowing English sounded very ridiculous and out of place but I held onto it and now I’m working on my second mission,” she said.

Curiosity and Perseverance are not only the names of those missions, but the character traits that helped launch her into NASA.

At the young age of 17, she made her way from the violent streets of Cali, Colombia … Continue Reading (2 minute read)

9 thoughts on “Meet Diana Trujillo – who despite being a 17 year old immigrant arriving to America with no English skills and only $300 dollars in her pocket – was able to work her way from housekeeper to becoming an aerospace engineer at NASA who helped create the robotic arm for Mars rover Perseverance.”

  1. Camel7878

    I read that too fast – I thought Danny Trejo had a wild ride before becoming an actor

  2. TheNaughtyMonkey

    >At the young age of 17, she made her way from the violent streets of Cali, Colombia to the United States with only $300 in her pocket. She worked many jobs including that of a housekeeper to pay for an education in engineering at the University of Florida. With help from tutors and mentors, she applied to the NASA Academy, and to her surprise, she was accepted. Trujillo then joined NASA as an engineer in 2008.

  3. butycheeks

    That’s dedication and hardwork right there

  4. morenadoll

    What an amazing journey. Good on her!

    How appropriate that the rover project she worked on is named Perseverance.

  5. AMonkeyAndALavaLamp

    Is it me or the first season of For all mankind features a similar story? Could it be based on this story?

  6. BoinkBoinkEtAliae

    >While studying at the university, she decided to apply for the [NASA Academy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Academy), being the first Hispanic immigrant woman admitted to the program.

    Not only representing but shattered glass ceilings as well

  7. HazelGhost

    This is your friendly reminder that many restrictionist organizations want to put income caps on immigration (e.g., “You can’t immigrate to the U.S. if you make less than 50,000/year”).

  8. angstyart

    Now THAT is the American Dream.

  9. ChunkofWhat

    This is an incredible human story, but it’s important to not get carried away. Just because one person managed to succeed in ascending from rags to rockets doesn’t mean we live in a meritocratic society. Stories like this are often used as propaganda by libertarians and neoliberals to argue that the less fortunate need no assistance, and that their plight is only due to a lack of hard work. In truth, there are a finite number of hyper-competitive opportunities for the poor to achieve dreams like this – only a very small few are allowed to ascend. To me, the big take away here is that this is news at all. It should not be surprising that someone of little means from a poorer country is capable of contributing to this field. Obviously there are brilliant and talented people all over the world, and their opportunity and contributions are squandered because thanks to our deviant economic system.

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