HBCUs are life! They provide experiences for students that you can’t find anywhere else, allowing Black girls to work their magic in sectors not commonly open to them. Jere’ Williams is one such woman. Currently a Junior at Xavier University in New Orleans, LA, she began taking college courses when she was in high school.
“As high school Junior, I started taking duel enrollment classes at Fletcher Technical College; I finished with 12 hours,” Jere’ says. “My senior year, I took classes at Nicholls State University as well and finished with an additional 13 hours before entering Xavier. I took a Calculus class there.”
This allowed Jere’ to enter Xavier with enough credits to be a Junior and afforded her the opportunity to be a part of a NASA research project to build a battery that can be utilized in space exploration in the year 2021. Here she told us about her out of this world experience.
Madame Noire (MN): Exactly how did the NASA opportunity come about?
Jere’ Williams (JW): The NASA opportunity came about surprisingly! I received a call one day from my now research adviser, Dr. Meda. He began explaining that Xavier received a $5 million grant to fund a research project that would a build a solid state battery using chemical elements to complete the mission to Mars in 2021. He also explained his prior research on this battery that would be meant for patients with pacemakers, so because my great grandmother has a pacemaker, I instantly was ready to join the team. And as the saying goes, “Here I am, and the rest is history.”