Highland student shoots for the stars

Posted 2/8/24

It has always been Emily Martin’s dream to become an astronaut.

“When I was younger, I always admired the stars and planets and knew I wanted to be up there one day. I’ve read …

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Highland student shoots for the stars


It has always been Emily Martin’s dream to become an astronaut.

“When I was younger, I always admired the stars and planets and knew I wanted to be up there one day. I’ve read a lot about it and as I got older, I learned about quantum physics and astro physics. 

This inspired me to pursue a career that dealt with those types of sciences. The universe as a whole is amazing,” said Emily.

The National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) has invited 16-year-old Emily to the Aerospace summer program at John Hopkins University in Maryland. 

Emily will have the opportunity to explore NASA, (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), design, build, and launch aircraft, learn the fundamentals of coding, meet scientists and engineers behind the scenes, and much more. Upon completion, she will receive a certificate of completion, three college credits, and a letter of recommendation from John Hopkins and the NSLC. 

Currently an 11th grader, she plans on getting at least 2 PHD’s, in Physics and Applied Mathematics. “My dream college is MIT. I also hope to be applying to their summer programs,” said Emily. 

Emily’s family has organized a fundraiser which will be presented by the psychic medium Deb Hanlon, to help pay her tuition for the John Hopkins Aerospace Program. The goal is to raise $6,000 to offset the costs associated with the program. All proceeds will support Emily’s dream. The event is expected to be spiritual and uplifting! 

“I am thankful that Deb has agreed to work alongside my mom and our friend Jami to help me achieve this goal to attend the summer aerospace program at Johns Hopkins University,” Emily said.

Emily’s mom, Renae Martin, the owner of Lilly Rae Botanicals in Highland, will have self-care products available for sale to help raise money. 

“I could not be prouder of her, her achievements and her dreams,” said Renae.  

“I have always been spiritual and being able to find guidance to achieve my dreams is amazing to me. Learning to embrace and follow my intuition as well as manifesting positive outcomes is something I strongly believe in. So, this entire event on March 22 is an exciting one for me. I’m looking forward to it and I am very grateful!” said Emily.

Emily has always been impressed with Peggy Whitson, the first woman commander of the International Space Station. Whitson holds the record amongst American astronauts for the most time in space. 

“I find it inspiring to see women being very involved in S.T.E.M fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and holding higher positions in power!” said Emily. S.T.E.M is known as a male-dominated field making it more challenging for women to have recognition and acknowledgement in these associated careers.

The motivational speaker Eric Thomas has also influenced Emily. “One of my favorites quotes is, ‘When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.’ Listening to him has really inspired me to go after my dreams no matter how hard it gets or how much doubt I have. I will work hard and never give up until I achieve my dream!” said Emily.