(Stamford Advocate, 2/27/17)
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Cavana Carey, a senior at Bulkeley High School who wants to be a pediatrician, has fielded doubts and low expectations over what her future holds.
But not Friday. Not in that movie theater, abuzz with the energy of 80 Hartford girls who sat enthralled with the cinematic inspiration from “Hidden Figures,” the Oscar-nominated film based on the real-life heroics of three brilliant African American women who became NASA trailblazers while facing the government-sponsored indignities of Jim Crow segregation.
“I felt it paved a way for me to want to persevere and go for the career that I choose,” Cavana said after the final credits rolled. The 17-year-old plans to tune out the doubters and listen more to people such as her grandmother and sisters, she said, “telling me I can be anything I wish to be in life.”
Schools across the country have been busing students to screenings of “Hidden Figures” in recent weeks to watch the story about overcoming obstacles that educators see as a big dose of hope.
In Hartford, the idea for Friday’s field trip came from Bulkeley Principal Gayle Allen-Greene, who had already seen the movie twice and considered it a motivational portal to tap into interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — STEM fields where women, and especially women of color, are still severely underrepresented.