American Girl's 2018 'Girl of the Year' Is an Aspiring Astronaut Perfect for Empowering Young Girls

Not only does Luciana set an incredible example for girls everywhere, but she is providing resources to those interested in following in her path. 
Courtesy of American Girl Doll

Iconic all-American doll company, American Girl is taking their mission to new heights with their "2018 girl of the year": aspiring astronaut Luciana Vega. The creative, outgoing, 11-year-old character is known for her ambitious goal of becoming the first person to go to Mars. She is a powerful symbol of leadership and loves being a team player—even if that means here on Earth. Different from any other American Girl doll out there, she is inspiring children everywhere to work hard and dream big, because the sky isn't the limit. 

Courtesy of American Girl Doll

“We’re proud to introduce fans to American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega—a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality,” says Katy Dickson, president of American Girl. “Luciana is a role model for today’s girls—empowering them to defy stereotypes, and embrace risks that will teach them about failure and success as they chart their own course in life—whatever the goal. For us, it’s all about building girls of strong character, and it’s why we’re continuing to encourage girls to lead change and embrace #charactercounts.” 

Luciana's outgoing persona is brought to life in the form of a beautiful 18-inch doll. At first sight, her big brown eyes, tanned skin, and dark hair are Luciana's most recognizable features, but the purple streak in her hair and her STEM-inspired outfits speak to Luciana's sense of adventure and fearlessness. You can also purchase Luciana’s Flight Suit and Space Suit, her Maker Station, and a Mars Habitat loaded with science and research essentials for hours of pretend play—all for the authentic Space Camp experience. 

Courtesy of American Girl Doll

The Luciana doll truly goes above and beyond with American Girl's first-ever interactive app experience. By downloading the American Girl app, you can scan Luciana's catalog pages and products to unlock exclusive content, including augmented reality, trailers and videos, space simulations, quizzes and challenges, and much more. You can also follow Luciana's exciting life of exploration through her chapter books written by Erin Teagan.

There is no question that Luciana's story and experiences are one of authenticity—the company paired with several members of NASA's team to not only ensure the accuracy of her storyline but to fund Blast Off to Discovery—an educational program that helps elementary school students from 3rd and 5th grade learn all about space through STEM-based lesson plans, classroom activities, videos, games, and more. 

Courtesy of American Girl Doll

As if all of that isn't enough, American Girl and Scholastic is hosting a Mission to Mars Sweepstakes, giving children the opportunity to win a trip to Space Camp, valued over $2,000. 

What girl wouldn't want to be Luciana, nevermind own her? Lucky for us, American Girl is giving girls everywhere the resources to follow in Luciana's footsteps. In a world of media-obsessed kids who can't seem to be peeled away from the TV, Luciana could help inspire our next greatest female astronaut. 

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