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Vanessa Wyche: Tenacity led me to where I am today at NASA


Vanessa Wyche became deputy director of  NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in 2018, a top position that no other African-American had held before.

The path that led the girl who grew in South Carolina all the way on to assist leading a space organization started with curiosity. And a daring spirit. From playing outside seeing how nature worked to "coming here to NASA, where we are really looking at what is the origins of the universe, this is like big, big playground for me," Wyche says.

She was the first in her family to go to an integrated school, and she felt she was equipped to succeed because of the foundation that she got from her parents, both educators. But, Wyche explains, growing up in the South in the 70s and being the first class of students graduating from the integrated school system was challenging at times.

Another challenge for her was not having any technological education in her hometown. But as part of her support network one of her teachers exposed the young scientist to this thing called engineering, and she loved it. Little could her Biology teacher know that Wyche would end up taking care of human spaceflight operations.

Watch Vanessa Wyche telling her story fro KPRC's Khambrel Marshall for Black History Month.