We are excited to celebrate Black History month by highlighting some of our inspiring Black Science Cheerleaders.
Next in our series is Tynesha, Chemistry Patent Examiner and former cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Blast, and Chesapeake Bayhawks!
What does it mean to you to be a Black American in your STEM career and your cheer career?
To me, being a Black American in a STEM career means receiving the torch from our ancestors and passing it onto future generations. STEM is something I’ve always been interested in and passionate about. The more I learn about the incredible inventions of African American scientists and engineers, the more I feel that it is my responsibility to continue to encourage minority children to pursue STEM careers. The same holds true with being a Black American in the cheerleading industry. During appearances, it fills my heart with an immense amount of joy to hear kids say, “she looks just like me!” I let them know that with hard work and dedication, they too can be professional cheerleaders in the future!
Is there a Black mentor or role model who had a significant impact on your life or that you particularly look up to?
Dr. Banita Brown is an Organic Chemist that I admire. She probably doesn’t know this, but she was the very first African American Scientist that I’ve ever seen! It was an honor and a treat having her as my professor. During lectures, I was mesmerized by her presence! Representation is key in my opinion, and seeing Dr. Brown in the flesh showed me that my dream of becoming a Chemist was truly possible!
Here is an interview with Dr. Brown in 2006 about her upbringing, education, and career.
What would you want to share with other Black women who are interested in following in your footsteps?
For African American women who are interested in professional cheerleading and/or STEM, a tip I’d like to share is to chase after it if you really want it badly enough! If it is in your dreams at night and you cannot stop thinking about it all day long, then do it! Don’t let yourself, doubts, fears, or anyone else keep you from doing what sets your soul on fire!
Are they any communities/groups that had an impact on you? Do you have any resources that you think others should know about?
Unfortunately, I did not have access to any of these organizations growing up. However, here are a few organizations that also have chapters throughout the nation – NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers), NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), WiTS (Women in Technology and Science), and WiSE (Women in Science and Engineering).
Anything else you’d like to include?
Here are a few Black American inventors that are featured in the National Inventors Hall of Fame!