Taylor may be young, but she’s already faced her own share of obstacles. She has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The condition sometimes makes it difficult for her to concentrate. But she refuses to let that hold her back. She decided ADHD would instead stand for “Abundantly Different and Happily Divine.” Taylor also had a tough time with bullying when she was little. “Older kids at school teased me for liking science—they called me a nerd and a geek, and I was discriminated against for being African-American,” she says.
The more Taylor explored STEM, though, the more confident she became. When she was 9, she decided to attend Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. There, kids train like real astronauts using simulators—training machines that imitate conditions in space. One, for example, gives the sensation of moving around in low gravity—like that found on the moon. Camp attendees also participate in missions aboard mock spacecraft, including one that resembles the International Space Station (ISS).