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It’s the story of the lady: Sri Lankan born MARS 2020 engineer

We, as Team FeMale always tried to convince everyone around us that, being a female won’t stop you achieving your dreams and engaging in your dream career. When reading the story of Melony Mahaarachchi, I felt that she can be considered such a lady; who is engaging in her dream career along with the responsibilities of a wife and a mother.

Not being able to join the medical school with the loss of few marks, rather than worrying about it throughout the lifetime as many do, she got married and settled down with two children. According to my opinion, marriage is a junction where many girls have to stop their dreaming and spend all their lives on behalf of the betterment of the next generation. Yet, she made a change of that typical female mindset.

Along with the birth of her daughter, she got the idea that she cannot let her daughter live in the same condition that she spent all her life. She felt that a girl must be given freedom to engage in the streams which she loves. Therefore, in order to fulfill her desire, she thought of leaving the country. Just guess if the people here were able to give her the chance to learn and train what she loved a lot, the MARS 2020 Engineer would be from here and all the news would be as the Sri Lankan lady not as Lankan-born lady.

She was lucky enough to win the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery and then followed a degree of Aerospace Engineering at UCLA. It is amazing how she chose science, especially aerospace engineering; a field of study conjectured as male-dominant with courage, being a pride to all the girls from middle class families in Sri Lanka.  

Being bold, she faced the interview at SpaceX. Then she moved on to Boeing and she started working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and shed labor on making MARS 2020 Rover a success.

Revealing everyone how much a capacity a female can handle, she followed a degree program on business also, and now longs to engage in her own business in the future taking the exact advantage of that same knowledge that she owns.

Being a personality who expects the betterment of the young female lives, she uses her Friday off to share her own life story at schools and even at robotic competitions. It is really amazing how she balances the professional and personal lives. If she spent her life here she may have been blamed by all the others by saying that she only chases what she wants rather than thinking of her children. However, she has accomplished that target also. Her daughter is expecting to learn biology at Boston University and her son is pursuing a career in STEM as a second-year engineering student at Berkeley.

I myself expect that, her life story may have inspired you too, and wish you all good luck to achieve the goals you always wanted to accomplish, and also to gain the opportunity to engage in your dream career rather than being a typical housewife.

Words by: Rtr.Jayamuni Kaveesha Thushani de Silva

Rota Tomorrow Team I-FeMale

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