The Stained Glass Ceiling
by Marina Orozco, WriteGirl Mentee, age 16

It shatters the celestial ceiling, boring through the glass.
Her creation, her gift to the world
that puts the universe in the palm of our hands
and clarifies the atmosphere…The Hubble.

Mother of Hubble, an affectionate name
for the astronomer who transformed blurs in the sky
into black holes,
into galaxies, into planets and stars
while society tried to tether her dreams to Earth.

“This is a job for men, little woman, quit this path,”
she was told by her colleagues, by her teachers, by her friends
But she pushed their words aside and forged her destiny
to reach for the stars.

For even in the days of Nancy Roman’s youth
She would spend all her nights gazing at
the atmosphere from her backyard
through a cloudy stained glass ceiling
she finally cracked open.

What You Should Know About Nancy Roman

Born in 1925, Nancy Roman, who was the first Chief of Astronomy for NASA, is known as the “Mother of Hubble,” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope, and lobbying Congress to fund it.

After her retirement from NASA in 1979, Roman spent much of her time consulting, teaching and lecturing across the country, all the while continuing to be a passionate advocate for women in the sciences.

Today, at 91 years young, this pioneer continues to inspire young women like Marina to reach for the stars.

About Marina’s Poem

In 2014 we told you about WriteGirl, an innovative writing and mentoring program that gives teen girls the power of the pen, promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills.

In support of their 5th annual Poetry Drive, which aims to raise funds for the group’s next season of workshops, WYSK ordered a custom poem with a Women’s History Month theme. To our delight, what we received was Marina’s The Stained Glass Ceiling honoring Nancy Roman.

The young poet told WYSK, “I chose to write about Nancy Roman because she helped open the gates for women in math and science. And while it’s not the same field as the one I intend on pursuing, ultimately she’s part of the reason why I can study and do what I want when I grow up.”

To learn more about WriteGirl and their Poetry Drive, visit Read more about Nancy Roman here.

Images via Women@NASA