Dr. Christine Darden inspires local college students

Darden worked for NASA, with real-life women portrayed in 'Hidden Figures'

By Magdala Louissaint - Lynchburg Bureau Reporter

LYNCHBURG, Va. - A Virginia native who helped break barriers in NASA is helping inspire local students. 

Dr. Christine Darden worked with NASA for 40 years. She worked alongside some of the real-life women who were portrayed in the movie "Hidden Figures." 

Darden worked with Sweet Briar students on Thursday. She hopes her story and visit inspires young women who are engineering majors to speak up for what they want, excel at their jobs and ignore negative comments. 

Darden said she experience inequity when they were putting all the women in the computer offices and the men in the engineering office. She said, she finally built up the courage to ask her director at the time, "why were the assignments being made that way?"

She said, "I had sorta said (to myself), I had offers at two colleges when I went there (to NASA). I'll go to a college and teach. I don't dislike teaching. So that was my fallback position. But it worked out. I was transferred. I went into an area that I really loved and enjoyed doing."

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