Research Physical Scientist Tra-My Justine Richardson  – NASA

“When I mentor students, their academic [talents] are a given. They’re very bright. They’re very smart. But I mentor them to teach them what they don’t learn in school: how to work with other people, how to seek help, and how to mature from a student to a professional. 

“[I teach them that] when you fail, it’s OK. Admit what you did wrong, be honest about it, and talk through it. Don’t hide it. Don’t avoid it. We will deal with it together. 

“That takes a lot of courage and a lot of maturity, but I try to show them to grow from the challenge and move past it. Face it head on. That is one thing that I did not learn [growing up] and had to learn later in life. It takes a lot of courage to confront your fears and failures. Each and every time is really difficult, but you will feel really empowered. It’s a very significant step in your life if you can do that.”

—Tra-My Justine Richardson, Research Physical Scientist, NASA’s Ames Research Center

Image Credit: NASA / Brandon Torres
Interviewer: NASA / Thalia Patrinos

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