Mae Jemison was born on October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama. She didn't stay long though in Alabama. When she was only three years old, her family and her moved to Chicago.
Throughout her childhood, she was excited about the idea of being in the space program. As a child, she chronicled the early space flights and was inspired by Neil Armstrong. Although she wanted to be an astronaut since she was a child, Mae went onto college at Stanford University to get a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in the 1977. She then graduated from Cornell University's medical school in 1981. After college Jemison served in the Peace Corps in West Africa for 2 years, from 1983-1985, during which timed she applied to join the National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA.
Mae was selected out of over 2,000 applicants and joined the space program at NASA in 1987. She went on her first mission in 1992. While up in space she studied the effects of zero gravity on people and animals. As a result of this mission on the space shuttle Endeavor, she became the first African-American woman to go into space. She then resigned from NASA only a year later. After her resignation, she formed the Jemison Group. This company researches, develops, and markets advanced technologies. Mae Jemison credits her parents for her success and ground breaking achievements. Though they provided strong parental support, helped to diversify her interests and instilled a thirst for learning, they never pressured her. Mae Jemison is truly a role model for the young women of today.