When Alyssa Carson was just three she told her parents she was going to be an astronaut.
Fast forward 14 years and the now 17-year-old is pretty close to making that dream a reality.
That’s because Alyssa, from Louisiana, has been busy training with NASA, aiming to become the first person on Mars via the 2033 first human mission, when she’ll be 32.
“I did the same thing as other kids, like switching my mind about careers, wanting to be a teacher or the president one day,” she told Teen Vogue.
“But the way I always thought about it was I would become an astronaut, go to Mars, come back, and then be a teacher or the president.’”
The president thing might have to wait as for now, Alyssa is fully focussed on her astronaut training.
The teen is the first person to complete the NASA Passport Program by going to all 14 NASA Visitor Centers.
She’s also the youngest person to be accepted and graduate the Advanced Possum Academy, which means she’s now officially certified to go into space.
But despite learning about microgravity, attending simulated missions and underwater courses, Alyssa isn’t about to let her school studies slip as she manages to also fit in learning no less than four languages.
“The biggest [challenge] is time and getting everything done at such a young age while also still attending high school. Continuing to train at a young age will also be further difficulties for me but I have done great with it so far.” Alyssa told Bored Panda.
Unsurprisingly, people are pretty interested in Alyssa’s story, so she keeps her fans updated on her progress via her various social media accounts.
As of her own personal mentors Alyssa claims to have been inspired by “all astronauts, especially women astronauts as they have made the road for me to follow.”
The teenager also attends public speaking events to tell other youngsters about her training and try to encourage young women to consider a career in science, technology or engineering.
And she’s got a pretty inspirational message to spread.
“Always follow your dream and don’t let anyone take it from you,” she says.