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Posted under: News Education

Generous Donors Raised Thousands For This Single Mom And Ph.D. Student To Do A NASA Internship

She is also a single mom working toward a doctorate in physics.

Ph.D. student India Jackson is one step closer to her dreams thanks to the generosity and kindness of strangers. 

Jackson was accepted into a prestigious summer internship at NASA. However, she could only think about how she could afford to live in Houston during the 10-week program at the Johnson Space Center. 

“I have to pay for rent in two places now, I have to rent a car, I have food, I have my child. What am I going to do?” she told The Atlanta Journal-Consitution.

The DeKalb County, Georgia, resident obtained her bachelors, masters and now will earn her doctoral degree in physics at Georgia State University. In the past, she has taught at local colleges but the NASA opportunity was unlike anything she had before. 

According to The AJC, NASA will give her a living stipend to cover some expenses but it would not be enough to live on. She has a 12-year-old daughter to take care of as well.

With GSU not providing extra financial support and the modest NASA stipend, she needed to find the cash fast to make her dreams a reality. 

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To her surprise, the 32-year-old's cousin, Dasha Fuller, launched a GoFundMe campaign with the original goal of $8,000, 11 Alive reports. Nearly 250 people donated to Jackson's cause giving her approximately $8,500 in six days. 

“It really caught me off guard. It was amazing and it was overwhelming, and I was just blown away,” she told The AJC.

The kind gesture was all she needed to get the ball rolling on the next phase of her academic career. With the funds in hand, she brought her plane tickets and set up her housing for the 10-week stay in Texas. 

“When things have to get done, they have to get done,” Jackson commented. “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.”

The mathematician will be analyzing high-intensity radiation events and predicting solar flares as an intern. Once she finishes her Ph.D., Jackson plans to work in the field of space travel. She also has a desire to venture to the International Space Station and work with the solar telescope. 

"I got so much love from ppl I can’t reply to all...thank you to all my Decatur/Lithonia family!! I may live downtown but I rep the east hard and everywhere I go," she wrote on Facebook thanking everyone after the successful campaign.

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Atlanta-based creative, dope photographer, journalist and lover of the wing ding.