I have some exciting news! I’m on the 2014 list of 25 Women Who Rock Social Media! It’s pretty amazing that I was included on the same list as so many brilliant women, such as Beverly Jackson (@bevjack), Jeanette Gibson (@jeanetteg) and Michelle Killebrew (@shellkillebrew).
It means a lot that my nominator Lee Odden recognized my work in social media outreach. Lee is a social media industry leader, whom I have met through my mom who runs a social media consultancy. I am honored to be an example and leader for my generation, the Mars Generation, showcasing to many kids and young adults how to leverage social networking to advance their own goals and dreams. When I first started on Twitter at age 13, people unbeknown to me said I was pioneering a new world. I didn’t realize that while they were referring to Mars, this also was true right here on social media, as I have grown an audience of over 350,000 fans and followers who are all on my journey to mars with me.
My community slowly grew on Twitter until my opportunity to Act Big came and I was invited to witness a Soyuz launch in Kazakhstan as a VIP guest of my mentor Astronaut Luca Parmitano. I decided to bring this experience to the world and make sure that kids and adults had a chance to experience what I experienced and hopefully inspire others as Luca inspired me. What happened from this bold step has been phenomenal.
I launched an outreach program to run while Luca lived in space for six months and I partnered with Luca to be his Earth Liasion and bring his experience living in space to everyone on earth through my social media outreach. Luca went up, came down and we had a lot of fun working together. But my outreach did not end there. Eighteen months later, I am still running my outreach program now titled The Future of Space. My little twitter account of 4,000 followers has grown to include Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube channels with over 350,000 followers and fans. I am humbled and truly touched to be embraced both online and in real life. It’s been phenomenal and I am so thankful for the support and belief in my dreams.
I have had thousands of kids and adults reach out to me online to tell me they too have big dreams, and they are inspired to reach for their own Mars because of me. They are what the circle of inspiration is really about. When I started on Twitter five years ago it was unusual to see kids and young adults declaring their dreams online and using social media to pursue their goals, dreams and passions. I am honored to have set an example and be a leader for the Mars Generation on positive ways to use social media to reach future goals.
The honor of being named one of the top 25 women in social media, is not only an individual honor, but also an honor for every person who has chosen to come along on my journey. I am only recognized because of each of you. I urge you to continue to spread the space message and grow this community. Join my Future of Space Facebook group and invite your friends. Be a part of this incredible voyage and historic time!