Teenage girl raises thousands so girls can see ‘Hidden Figures’

Hidden Figures’ message of empowerment and perseverance helped inspire one aspiring astronaut. Now, she’s raising thousands of dollars to help other girls see the film for free.

Taylor Richardson, 13, attended a White House screening of Hidden Figures in December, and she was inspired by the film’s portrayal of the real-life African-American women who helped send astronaut John Glenn to space. After she left the screening, she and her mom set up a GoFundMe page to help 100 other girls in her Florida hometown see the film for free, hoping to encourage them to pursue a career in math and science.

Initially, Richardson set a goal of $2,600, with a plan to use any excess money raised to provide the girls with a copy of the Hidden Figures book. So far, she’s raised more than $17,000 and sparked similar initiatives around the country.

Richardson held the first screening in January, where 275 attendees got to see the film. She plans to use the additional money for even more screenings, and according to GoFundMe, her fundraising campaign inspired more than 70 other people to start similar campaigns. So far, they’ve raised more than $120,000 and held screenings in 28 different states.

Earlier this year, the stars of Hidden Figures bought out screenings specifically for low-income families. Octavia Spencer held a screening in Los Angeles, while Taraji P. Henson and Jim Parsons hosted similar events in Chicago and Houston.

|EW