From Painting to NASA: A Girl’s Journey

Event Details

  • WHERE: Online

  • WHEN: March 8, 2021; 7:00 PM


On International Women’s Day, Ayla Gavins, Curriculum Coordinator & Instructional Coach at New England Innovation Academy (NEIA), welcomes all aspiring innovators (girls AND boys!) to a virtual Innovation Studio with special guests. 

At NEIA, students discover their passion-driven purpose, bring ideas to impact, and graduate ready for what’s next. How do we prepare the next generation of innovators? Learning from someone who has gone through that journey can be a great start.

At this event, 8th-grade student Kayla will cultivate her own passion and purpose to become an astronaut, by connecting with Sophia Kressy, who worked at NASA, to share her journey.

Before working at NASA, Sophia majored in astronomy, physics, and painting at Boston University. Sophia is now pursuing her Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of North Carolina.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience NEIA’s unique approach to mentoring NEIA students to help cultivate passion and purpose.
  • How did Sophia’s earlier experiences prepare her to work at NASA?
  • Ask Sophia your own questions with Kayla moderating.
  • Ayla shares a glimpse of NEIA’s Innovation Studio experience.
  • Enjoy a hands-on exercise with like-minded peers in grades 6-12 who are aspiring innovators like Kayla.


The latest from
NEIA on Instagram


We are on our way to the Student Diversity Leadership Conference in St. Louis, MO! This opportunity truly reflects the dedication of each student to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The SDLC promises to be a transformative experience, providing a platform for students to cultivate leadership skills, engage in meaningful discussions, and gain valuable insights into promoting diversity and inclusion within our community.

We look forward to sharing our journey to the SDLC with the NEIA community!



Whether you're seeking more information about our grade 6-12 academy program, summer programs, or have any questions at all, this is the right place to start. Please take a few minutes to fill out this form, and our dedicated team will get back to you as soon as possible.