HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – She was highlighted as one of the Hidden Figures, but Mary Winston Jackson is hidden no longer.

Jackson, the first Black woman engineer at NASA Langley Research Center during segregation whose achievements were highlighted in the Hidden Figures blockbuster film, has the NASA Headquarters building named after her along Hidden Figures Way, and now the state-of-the-art Mary Winston Jackson Neighborhood Center located on Lincoln Street of North Armistead Avenue is up and running.

“It was very important to be on Lincoln Street because of the history of the Winston name. Where she grew up… where her siblings grew up,” said Wanda Jackson, her granddaughter. “Lincoln Street is where she belonged and this is where the center belongs.”

The Winston family has strong ties to the area. Several family members still live in the Olde Hampton area.

The Mary W. Jackson Neighborhood Center opened its doors back in September, years after the United Steelworkers Local 8888 petitioned for a center to honor the Hampton native.

“I appreciate everything everybody has done,” Wanda Jackson said. “It has been worth the fight.”

Throughout the Hampton community, Mary W. Jackson was a Sunday school teacher at Bethel AME and an active NAACP member.

She was treated differently as a double minority, but she hid the unfair treatment from her family.

“It was a struggle for her but we… you never saw that struggle,” Wanda Jackson said. “She never brought that home. When she retired from NASA, she started to get hate mail, and then we needed to sit down and have a talk to explain what was going on.”

Walking the halls of the center, there are pictures of the trailblazer’s journey, which was not always easy. Wanda Jackson said she was emotional seeing the center for the first time. She is hopeful the kids are inspired to take up STEM jobs.

“Now it’s not outside the norm for black women to be engineers, to be doctors, to be lawyers, to get the good paying jobs,” Wanda Jackson said. We don’t have to be housekeepers, maids or work in stores. Whatever you want you to be. We are able to do that.”

Mary W. Jackson was best known for helping the community, creating opportunities for women of color at NASA, and tutoring kids.

“Everyone she touched was a part of her… was a part of us.”

Now the center provides free food and after-school programs for kids. There is space to exercise and play basketball.

“It was just in her heart to help people,” Wanda Jackson said. “It was in her heart to help everybody grow.”

The Mary W. Jackson center will host a holiday open house from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. Santa will be there along with games and raffle tickets.

“It’s here for the community,” Wanda Jackson said. It’s here for the neighborhood.”