Anaiya, Grade 5 student, has advice for all girls to follow your dreams

Anaiya Shah placed three LEGO female figurines on the desk in front of her and began to tell their story. In the end, it was really her own story that she was telling. Here is her story in her own words:

This is Mae Jemison, who was the first African American woman to travel in space. She was born in 1956 and wanted to be a scientist and her parents supported her desire. She was a hard worker in school and always said that Martin Luther King inspired her. She also loved dancing and at the age of 14, she auditioned for the leading role of Maria in West Side Story. She didn't get it but she tried really hard and got a smaller role. After college she joined NASA and became an astronaut.

(Picking up the other figurines, Anaiya continues) This is Nancy G. Roman, a scientist, and this is Sally Ride, the first woman to go to space. These three woman all had dreams: this one wanted to be a scientist and study the planets and space, and these two wanted to travel and explore space.

You have to believe in your dream and work really hard. You need to be inspired and follow your dreams and follow your heart. Years and years ago, women couldn't do a lot of the things men could. But Elizabeth Blackwell came along and became the first woman doctor, and lots of girls came after her. All women should have the right to do what men do. I'm going to be a veterinarian when I grow up and live on a farm with a lot of animals.

This is what I am going to tell my daughter one day: Follow your dreams and follow your heart. Whatever you're dreaming and whatever you want to be, you can do it.