Dajae Williams is a 26-year-old American woman who has achieved success in both music and science, despite enrolling in engineering by mistake. While attending Kirkwood High School in Missouri as a child, Dajae’s teacher enrolled her in honors geometry, without realizing the impact it would have on her future. Despite the miscalculation, Dajae quickly demonstrated her intelligence and aptitude for the scientific course.
After graduating from high school, Dajae enrolled at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri to pursue an engineering course. She was encouraged by her mother to try the field of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), due to its lack of gender and racial representation. “My mom convinced me to go into a STEM field,” said Dajae. “She saw that I was getting good at math and science, so she was like, ‘Why don’t you explore this. There’s not a lot of women. There’s not a lot of black people in this field. See what you can do. See if you can make a change.’”
Now, Dajae works as a rocket scientist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States. “Sometimes I still have to pinch myself,” she said. “It’s always an exhilarating experience being around so many smart people, just being present, and taking it all in because there is so much to learn.”