ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM)- Elmira native, Eileen Collins passion for flight began here in Elmira, where she grew up.
Eileen Collins experiences, stories, and mistakes are what inspired her to write a book. “Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars” is a story about the first American woman to command a space mission. The book was published in mid-October. She holds many other titles such as retired NASA astronaut, the first American woman to pilot a space shuttle, and is one of the Air Force’s first woman pilots.
Collins has many messages she’s hoping to share through her book. “A message to the young people in Elmira… I grew up in Elmira. I thought it was a great town to grow up in. It was, I mean, people say small town but it is big enough that you have opportunities there. Take advantage of the opportunities that you have while you’re in school.”
She hopes that sharing her story will inspire students to find their passions and believe in themselves. Collins told 18 News, “The reason I focus on math is I was a math major in college. And I often hear young people, mostly young women say I can’t do math. And I take issue with that. I think if you work hard enough, you’ll be able to figure it out. So don’t give up.”