13 YEAR OLD TAYLOR RICHARDSON, RAISED OVER $18,000 FOR YOUNG GIRLS TO SEE THE MOVIE, HIDDEN FIGURES.
Earlier this week, Seventh-grader from Jacksonville, Florida, Richardson was deemed GoFundMe’s February “Hero of the Month” after raising $17,000 through the fundraising website for people throughout the nation to go see the hit movie. “Hidden Figures” is centered around three black women mathematicians who played a pivotal role in sending the first American into space. Taylor first saw the movie during a space exploration screening at the White House back in December and it changed her life.
The movie — starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe — is a biographical drama based on the book of the same name by Margo Lee Shetterly. It follows the true story of three female African-American mathematicians at NASA. Her GoFundMe campaign which started out with a goal of $2,600 in order to send 100 girls to see the film, but $15,400 later, more than one thousand girls were able to see the movie with snacks and even got a copy of the Hidden figures book.
To date, Richardson has collected and donated over 5,000 books in Jacksonville and read to over 300 children. She’s also worked on an anti-bullying campaign with the CEOs of Florida First Coast YMCA and Girl Scouts of Gateway Council.
"I tell people all the time: what makes me most proud of Taylor is not what you hear and all these success stories, but how she handles her failures,” her mother told Huffington Post. But the persevering spirit of Richardson ― who was bullied, held back in the second grade and once struggled with literacy ― can best be captured in the way she turned around her ADHD diagnosis. “She calls ADHD: Abundantly Different Happily Divine,” her mother said. “I hope I live to see her go to Mars.”
Taylor’s efforts have inspired others and there are now over 70 campaigns nationwide raising money to pay for young women who want to see Hidden Figures.
“I feel it’s important for everyone who has a dream or who may feel they can’t reach it or are told they shouldn’t reach to see this movie,” says Taylor. “Girls need to know if we do the work and stick together like these women did, we can accomplish many things.
I am proud of Taylor and how far she has come and the heights she would achieve if she keeps up this frequency.