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Alyssa Carson - NASA Blueberry
Photo by Jason Hook

Alyssa Carson's story is one of a unique trajectory, quite literally aspiring for the stars. A small child with a colossal dream, Alyssa set her sights on Mars from a young age and refused to settle for Earth-bound ambitions. Today, she's an astrobiologist and the driving force behind the Blueberry STEM Foundation, a groundbreaking initiative built on the principle that Mars is not just a planetary neighbor but a vision of what can be achieved.

Alyssa's fascination with the Red Planet was not merely an ephemeral daydream but rather a lodestar that guided her decisions, studies, and ultimately her career. This dream was bigger than her; it was a beacon that highlighted the disparities and gaps in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Alyssa couldn't help but notice a glaring problem: the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. The observation was not a deterrent but a call to action.

Blueberry STEM Foundation thus became the conduit to realize two of Alyssa's dreams. The first, to advance towards a future where Mars is within our grasp. The second, to empower the next generation, especially girls, to dare to dream as she did. And the way the foundation approaches this is as groundbreaking as the goal itself. In an educational landscape that often sticks to traditional subjects and methods, Blueberry STEM brings the cosmos into the classroom.

The biggest challenge Alyssa faced was the entrenched norms of gender in STEM. Despite an evolving societal outlook, women remain markedly underrepresented in these fields. But Alyssa leaned into the challenge, effectively becoming an ambassador for young girls who might see themselves in lab coats and space suits. The underlying culture of Blueberry STEM is a testament to this. Innovation is not just encouraged; it's the modus operandi. Collaboration is not optional; it's the ecosystem.

Alyssa doesn't measure the foundation's success just in terms of milestones, although there are many. Instead, she finds validation every time a young person's eyes light up at the possibilities the universe holds. For Alyssa, success is also about the burgeoning awareness of the importance of Mars exploration. It's about the emails she receives from kids telling her that they believe in life beyond Earth because she made them see it's possible.

When asked what her advice would be for budding entrepreneurs, Alyssa keeps it straightforward but poignant, "Never give up and never let anyone take your dream away from you." It's advice she has lived by, making her not just an aspiring astronaut but a role model for countless kids who'll be the astronauts, scientists, and changemakers of tomorrow.

For anyone looking to connect with Alyssa and learn more about her out-of-this-world initiative, she can be reached at, a portal not just to her but to a universe of possibilities.


Sep 22, 2023




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