Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist
A meningitis outbreak in their underprivileged neighborhood left Sylvia Acevedo’s family forever altered. As she struggled in the aftermath of loss, young Sylvia’s life transformed when she joined the Brownies. The Girl Scouts taught her how to take control of her world and nourished her love of numbers and science.
With new confidence, Sylvia navigated shifting cultural expectations at school and at home, forging her own trail to become one of the first Latinx to graduate with a master's in engineering from Stanford University and going on to become a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Simultaneously available in Spanish!
Acevedo must be about 8 years older than I am, so while the details of growing up at that time are spot on, the book was a little boring for me because it seemed so much like my own life! (Yes, even in 1978 there was only one girl in my class who opted out of home ec and took shop class instead!) I'm curious to see if students today will be surprised about the strictures placed on girls, and recognize that there is still a way to go before there are enough women in the scientific and technical fields.
I generally don't buy biographies or memoirs until the subjects have passed away (biography of Michael Jackson from 1984, anyone?), but a good memoir tells a story of a particular time, place, and set of circumstances that can be relevant even if the subject goes on to have a more stories career. For readers who liked the Barakat's Balcony on the Moon, Collard 's Snakes, Alligators, and Broken Hearts: Journeys of a Biologist's Son, Saedi's Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card or Grande, 's The Distance Between Us, this is a timely and topical choice.