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First African American Female Astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison, To Speak at Women of Distinction Event Sept. 19

Dr. Mae Jemison

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 8, 2017) – Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space, was announced Monday as the Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council’s featured speaker at its Sept. 19 Women of Distinction event held at The Westin Charlotte.

Women of Distinction recognizes outstanding women who have made significant achievements in expanding the horizon for young girls. Jemison is a perfect candidate to speak to the more than 500 guests and Girl Scouts about exceeding the standards set by society.

“I am so honored to speak at this year’s Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council Women of Distinction event,” said Jemison. “At an early age, I was encouraged to explore and develop interests in anthropology, archaeology and astronomy. Despite the fact that those fields of interest were and are, to some extent, still male-dominated areas, I wasn’t going to be stopped from chasing my passions. This event is an opportunity for me to share that determination and grit with women of all ages and hopefully leave a mark on young girls that will lead us into the future.”

“With a resume a mile long of esteemed awards, honorary doctorates and truly out of this world experiences, we are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Jemison speak at this year’s Women of Distinction event,” said Angela Woods, CEO of the Hornets’ Nest Council. “Her determination to succeed and relentless pursuit of excellence will inspire our girls and guests to reach for the stars.”

Jemison’s career started as an Area Peace Corps Medical Officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia overseeing the health care system for the Peace Corps and State Department. 

As a NASA astronaut from 1987 to 1993, Jemison made history as the first African American female astronaut on the STS-47 Spacelab J(apan) mission and was NASA’s first science mission specialist performing experiments in material science, life science and human adaptation to weightlessness.

A strong, committed global voice for science literacy, Jemison founded  the international science camp, The Earth We Share™ (TEWS), in 1994 for students 12 to 16 years old from around the world. In addition, she started and chairs the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. 

The business owner, inspirational speaker and innovator currently leads 100 Year Starship, an initiative seed funded by the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to assure the capabilities for human interstellar space travel to another star is possible within the next 100 years. 

Since the inaugural Women of Distinction event in 2006, Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council has honored nearly 60 exemplary women with a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, environmental leadership, healthy living and community building. The 2017 Lifetime Achievement honoree and Young Woman of Distinction will be announced soon.  

The luncheon will take place Tuesday, Sept. 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET at The Westin Charlotte. For more information, please visit  


About Girl Scouts:
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 2.3 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development and build courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council serves 17,000 girls and adults in eight North Carolina and South Carolina counties including Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly, Union and York. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @GSHNC, Instagram and Pinterest.

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