“It really caught me off guard. It was amazing and it was overwhelming, and I was just blown away,” she said, noting that her program at GSU generally does not fund internships, and NASA’s stipend wouldn’t be enough to support her and her daughter.
“Something that I absolutely wanted to do was work for NASA,” she said.
Being a single mother while doing research and taking classes has been tough, but Jackson said her ambition and family support system helped her through.
“When things have to get done, they have to get done,” she said. “I’m just blessed enough to be living in a time where everything is technology-driven, and this GoFundMe account was able to reach people around the world in order to help my cause.”
Once she gets her doctoral degree, Jackson’s ultimate goal involves space travel.
“I want to go to the International Space Station” and study using the solar telescope there, she said. “People think that I'm crazy. ... They think that it's impossible, but people also thought that it was impossible to do the things that I’ve done thus far.”