Diana Trujillo: “Hold on to your dreams and persevere.”

At just 17 years old, Diana Trujillo emigrated from her native Colombia to the United States. Today she is a space engineer at NASA, and under her motto, “Hold on to your dreams and persevere,” I tell you a little more about her, one of the Women who Inspire. 

Recognized as one of the most prominent Latinas to join NASA, the beginning of Diana Trujillo’s success story, like that of other Latinas, was marked by significant challenges and the hope of having a better life.

Diana Trujillo emigrated from her native Colombia to the United States when she was just 17 years old, with 300 dollars in her pocket, without speaking English or knowing what would be her second step in the American nation.

“I worked a lot. It is something that we Latin Americans and Colombians have… that desire not to give up. So when I got here, that was in me. I worked very hard; I had four jobs, I learned English… it hit me very hard…” she recalled in an interview she gave to La República in 2021.

During her first years in the United States, she supported herself to pay for her studies by cleaning houses and working as a housekeeper.

In 2007 Trujillo graduated in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, and this was the beginning of a new story for her.

With the innate empowerment that many women possess but few dare to discover in themselves, Diana Trujillo says challenges have always attracted her. 

“I was tired of women being told where they belonged, how they should behave, and what their aspirations could be. So I said to myself, this cannot be, and I decided that I would choose the most difficult career to show that women add value and we can achieve it”, she recalls.

“I said to myself, well, the hardest thing is to be an astronaut, so I started getting into that when I saw in a Nasa magazine about female astronauts that almost all of them were doctors or engineers, so I decided to study aerospace engineering…”

Her strength and desire to “break the mold” led her to join NASA in 2008 and to participate in two missions to Mars: “Curiosity” in 2012 and “Perseverance” in 2020.

At 41 years old, Diana Trujillo is an example that professional and personal life can fit perfectly. She today is a wife, mother of two girls, and responsible for a home at the same time, which she works as an Aerospace Engineer.

This Colombian engineer, who also leads the team of NASA engineers, leaves the name of immigrant women high, thanks to her knowledge and skills in mathematics and her desire to contribute to the great space missions of history.