Sylvia Acevedo grew up on a dirt road in New Mexico. Her family was poor, living “paycheck to paycheck.”
After a meningitis outbreak in her Las Cruces neighborhood nearly killed her younger sister, her mother moved the family to a different neighborhood. At her new school, young Acevedo knew no one. Until a classmate convinced her to become a Brownie Girl Scout.
And from that moment, she says, her life took on a new path.
On one camping trip, Acevedo’s troop leader saw her looking up at the stars.
“I didn’t know that there were planets,” Acevedo remembers, “I didn’t know there were constellations.” Her troop leader pointed out the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and a few planets. Later, when the girls were earning badges, Acevedo’s leader remembered her fascination with the stars and suggested she try for her science badge.