Walkway to the White House and Beyond

(In November) I went to the White House to cover a FLOTUS event for the movie Hidden Figures. I was lucky to meet some great people and attended live press conferences for President Obama and Mrs. Obama. Thank you KidScoop Media for an amazing trip I will never forget!

Dr. Dava Newman, Deputy Administrator of NASA:

Q: When NASA sends a manned mission to Mars, will there be women as part of the crew?

A: “Yes, we think it is crucial to have women aboard the ship when NASA travels to Mars “

Q: How is it to work at NASA?

A: “It is very fun! I’ve been there for seven months now, and the experience has been exciting.”

Q: Is NASA planning to build any new rockets or probes to send into space?

A: “Yes, we’re building a rocket right now that can go anywhere. It can go to the space station, the Moon, and even Mars. We are also working on over 100 new probes.”

Hidden Figures Press Event:

Q: How did it feel to be Dorothy Vaughn? (Octavia Spencer)

A: “The hallmark of being a good leader is to be a good team member, and Dorothy Vaughn showed that.”


Q: How did it feel to be Mary Jackson? (Janelle Monae)

“She wasn’t trying to be the first black woman as an engineer, she simply wanted to contribute and reach her full potential as a great mathematician and engineer.”

Q: How did it feel to be Katherine Johnson? (Taraji P. Henson)

A: “She had the power to walk into a room with her head high, especially as a black woman, speaks to her brilliance- her courage and not be afraid of thinking “What will they think of me?”

Q: How did it feel to be Al Harrison? (Kevin Costner)

A: “So, I know that Al Harrison – and everyone watching this movie – there was a time that you knew you wanted that wall to come down.”

First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama:

“That’s why I think this movie is so important – because it doesn’t just celebrate what we’ve achieved but how we’ve achieved it. It does not matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter how much money your parents have. None of that matters. Skin color and gender is the most ridiculous defining trait we cling to. It does not matter, what matters is that you believe in your own potential. You have to believe in you first.”

Astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle:

Q: Have you been to space?

A: “I am in training to go to space to go to Mars. We are building a vehicle that can take me, you and the next generation there.”

Q: What will you do in space?

A: “I am a Medical Doctor and a Space Researcher and I study what happens to the body on Earth and then how it changes when we are in space over time.”


Q: Do you think there are Aliens?

A: “Yes, Aliens are just friends that I think we have in space. So yes, I think that the chance of meeting other life forms in space is very high.”

President Obama:

President Obama spoke about his accomplishments the last 8 years, what concerned him then and now. He said “there are places around the world where horrible things are happening. When I came into the office, I thought about people losing their jobs, losing their homes and losing their pensions. I feel responsible”. He talked about finding ways to work better and smarter and find a way to relieve their suffering.

Mailee Johnson is a 5th Grade Student at Linwood E. Howe Elementary School.