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Local girls draw inspiration from ‘Hidden Figures’

Tracy Carey gives GIrls Scouts Madison Judy, 7, left, and London Judy, 10, glow-in-the-dark bracelets on Sunday before a special showing of the movie “Hidden Figures” at College 9 State College.
Tracy Carey gives GIrls Scouts Madison Judy, 7, left, and London Judy, 10, glow-in-the-dark bracelets on Sunday before a special showing of the movie “Hidden Figures” at College 9 State College. psheehan@centredaily.com

Irene Miller doesn’t understand how this whole birthday thing works.

Instead of indulging in cake and presents on her special day, Miller instead ran with an idea to inspire local girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

On Sunday afternoon, Miller arranged a screening of “Hidden Figures” a film that is based on the true story of three African-American women working at NASA whose work helped launch man into space.

“It’s encouraging girls to go after their dreams, letting them know that an education can take them there,” Miller said.

She was inspired after coming across the tale of Taylor Richardson, a 13-year-old aspiring astronaut, who launch a similar campaign to help more girls in her area see the movie.

It’s encouraging girls to go after their dreams, letting them know that an education can take them there.

Irene Miller

Miller, who is also the development and events coordinator at Centre Foundation, launched a GoFundMe page that raised $686 of its $750 goal. The money went towards buying out all 86 seats in a theater at College 9 cinema and copies of the book the film was based upon.

To help disperse the tickets, Miller worked with organizations such as the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, Girl Scouts and Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania. Nittany Entertainment also donated a red carpet and lights to help make the hall into the theater more suitable for a special occasion.

With all of the planning done, Miller still hadn’t seen the movie yet, instead preferring to share the occasion with the young ladies she helped assemble.

“I’m about to go see it,” Miller said.

She is tentatively planning on screening “Hidden Figures” again at The State Theatre this June, facing the daunting prospect of filling 571 seats.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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