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Student Who Struggled in Math Now Works as NASA Engineer

“I wasn’t going to give up because of a few bad grades.”

A journey of a thousand miles, as they say, begins with a single step and for some, that step may even be a small one. Take it from Josephine Santiago-Bond, a Filipina engineer who now works at NASA!

According to her, she didn’t even have a specific dream in mind growing up. She was more practical than ambitious.

In a SPOT interview, Josephine confessed:

“As a child, I always knew I would go to college, get a job, try to earn enough to afford the things I need and want, but I had not envisioned a particular profession.”

Little did she know that she would someday work for the US-based space agency, particularly at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. She’s now employed as department head of Advanced Engineering Development Branch.

Born in the US, Josephine was raised by her parents in the Philippines. She was merely two months old when they moved back to the country – and she grew up being surrounded by doctors.

She shared:

“I would answer phone calls and have to ask the caller ‘Which Dr. Santiago?’ because my parents and later, both my sisters, were doctors of some sort. Their curiosity and work ethic most likely rubbed off on me, but their professions did not speak to me.”

Upon reaching college age, she was eventually persuaded by a schoolmate to take up Electronics and Communications Engineering course in the University of the Philippines.

During the program, she struggled with mathematics.

“I had to crawl my way through some of the courses, but I wasn’t going to give up on [Electronics and Communications Engineering] because of a few bad grades.

“In between my fair share of socializing, I practiced solving math and engineering problems until I was either confident enough to take the test or ran out of review time. There were lots of sleepless nights, but strong friendships were formed, and my persistence eventually paid off.”

Soon after graduating, Josephine returned to the US to work on her Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the South Dakota State University which later led to summer job at the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

“I had zero knowledge about space shuttles, and did not even know that there was an International Space Station orbiting above us,” she reflected. “I was just happy to take a break from South Dakota.”

The rest, as they say, is history. Now Josephine works as a NASA engineer!

She shared:

“Engineering is still male-dominated at NASA if we go by statistics, but I do not feel the gender and racial segregation that was portrayed in the movie Hidden Figures.

“I see myself like Dorothy Vaughan who, upon learning of the installation of electronic computers, taught herself programming and trained her co-workers. I proactively look for gaps that I can fill, I am responsible for continuing my professional development, and try to elevate others around me through mentorship.”

Her advice to others, you ask? Well she gives us this:

“Dream many big dreams, and explore challenging opportunities along the way. Push your limits, get out of your comfort zone, and pick tasks that are harder than what you’re used to. Go for growth. Do things that you’re not already good at. Realistically expect that not all of your dreams will come true, at least not the first time you try, but give each try your best anyway. Regularly assess your strengths, sharpen the saw, and find positive ways to use your strengths to achieve the next step toward your dream.”

Watch her story here:

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Kudos to you, Josephine! You are an inspiration to many.

Inspiring

Japan Museum Holds On To Lost Stuffed Toy For 30 Years In Hopes To Find Its Owner

Now that’s dedication.

Thirty years is a long time to hang on to something — much less another child’s lost stuffed toy. But the staff from Chido Museum in the Yamagata Prefecture of Japan not only kept a lost Donald Duck stuffed toy for 30 years but even bathed it and knitted it a new set of clothes.

While other public institutions would have already donated the toy to charity, the Japanese museum opted to hold on to it in hopes of reuniting it to its owner. But three decades later, they’re still waiting for the Donald Duck stuffed toy to be picked up.

Yamagata Prefecture’s Chido Museum, located in the town of Tsuruoka, is a pretty unique place, consisting of a collection of samurai homes and some of Japan’s oldest still-standing Meiji Period Western-style buildings. However, like any museum, it also has a lost and found desk, and the museum recently shared a photo of a stuffed animal that a guest accidentally left behind....

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Man With Duct-Taped Shoes Leaves Surprise Donation To Children’s Charities

“It’s really a gift to all of us to see that pure demonstration of philanthropy and love.”

Alan Naiman could be perfectly described as a frugal man. In fact, the social worker bought his clothes at Costco, cut coupons, liked to take thrifty road trips for his holidays, and patched up his shoes with duct tape.

However, Alan is also the perfect example of not judging a book by its cover. Because despite his humble lifestyle and relatively modest salary working for the State of Washington’s Child Protective Services, he amassed quite a fortune.

Alan was paid $67,234 a year as a social worker, and he also had two other jobs. He was also thrilled when he hit 60 because he could qualify for senior discounts....

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Inspiring

Worried Dog Would Do Anything To Protect Owner Even From Medics

Dogs are definitey more than just a man’s best friend.

We all know the famous line, “Dogs are man’s best friend.” As it turns out, however, humans are definitely more than just a great pal for these four-legged pets.

One dog clearly proved that his owner is his everything from being his master to his best friend. Losing him would be unbearable for the broken-hearted dog that he would do anything to protect his human, even from the people who were trying to save him.

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