BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — CBS 42 asked the community for submissions for the most remarkable women. One of the nominees was T.K. Thorne.

T.K. Thorne has been inspired by many women in her life, from her grandmother reading stories to her, to her mother being active in the Civil Rights Movement.

This inspiration led her to big dreams that she was determined to achieve.

As a child, Thorne wanted to be an astronaut when she grew up. She wanted to meet aliens, even writing a letter to NASA. This was met with admiration from her mother, but her father broke the news that she couldn’t be an astronaut because her eyesight wasn’t good enough.

But Thorne never let that stop her. Her sense of adventure only grew, being hired by the Birmingham Police Department to write grants after college. As she rode along for research purposes, Thorne quickly discovered that was a lot more fun than sitting at a desk writing grants.

Thorne worked her way through the police academy, saying, “I love the job. I loved helping people. I love the fact that you never knew from one minute to the next what was going to happen.”

However, Thorne did face struggles on her road to greatness, one being her smaller stature. She had difficulties reloading and shooting her firearms in the times required to qualify, but she didn’t let that set her back.

Instead, she trained and trained, knowing she had to be able to pull a certain number of bullets out of her pocket in order to load her firearm correctly for herself: six of them, to be exact.

“I learned the skill of going into my pocket, blindly pulling six bullets exactly in my hand. And how did I do that?” she says, “I have no idea. But it became I just had to trust my body to do it.”

This may seem like a small achievement, but this personal success led Thorne to more goals she wanted to pursue, including a black belt in Aikido, and a black belt in Jujitsu thirty years later.

After a long career in the police department, Thorne was chosen to lead CAP–an outreach organization focused on improving life in downtown Birmingham. The goal of the program was to make downtown a more attractive place where people felt comfortable. Thorne was able to get involved with investing in the community, even helping with some art projects that are still downtown today.

Thorne also discovered another passion in her life: writing. She has published eight books so far, from nonfiction about the Civil Rights Movement to fictional stories about a young Birmingham policewoman.

She writes freely, choosing to write about what fascinates her, rather than trying to stay in one genre as people often do. Not only is she an author, but Thorne also enjoys activities such as painting, cooking, and travel.

She may never have gotten to meet aliens, but T.K. Thorne has done nothing short of the likes of her mother and grandmother, inspiring the next generation to go after their dreams.