ATLANTA, Ga. - A GoFundMe campaign raised enough money for a single mother and doctorate student in Atlanta to attend a NASA internship in Houston.
India Jackson, 32, is a second-year graduate student in physics at Georgia State University. She was offered a summer internship to work for 10 weeks at the NASA Johnson Space Flight Center.
Being a single mother, however, presented financial adversities for Jackson. NASA interns must pay for their own travel and lodging while in the program, according to Jackson's cousin Dasha Fuller, who created the GoFundMe campaign. Interns are paid a stipend but do not receive the money until they arrive and start work in the program, Fuller said.
“This is a lifelong dream of hers and a long time coming and I am very proud of her,” Fuller said. “Unfortunately, she is unable to attend. India is a single mother and a struggling graduate student, so money is tight.”
More than 260 donors rushed to Jackson's aid. The campaign surpassed its $8,000 goal, and raised just over $8,500. The campaign has since turned off donations.
The donations would cover one Airbnb bedroom near the Johnson Space Center, round-trip tickets for her and her daughter, a car rental, food, gas and other expenses.
Fuller said Jackson will take her 12-year-old daughter Jewel with her to Houston. They “will have a great experience” and plan on documenting the 10 weeks, she said.
Jackson will work with the Space Radiation Analysis Group (SRAG) at NASA. Her project will be the analysis of high intensity radiation events, “with the ultimate goal of predicting such events to protect astronauts and equipment in space,” according to Georgia State University.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.