The need to increase the number of African American women who obtain STEM degrees has been well documented in the literature by researchers, scientists, and policymakers. Increasing the participation of this group of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM is both an issue of social justice and economic advancement on a national scale. Despite decades of efforts to address this need through research and funding, the participation of African American women in STEM is still low. In part, this may be due to the limited number of studies that include the voices of African American women. Drawing upon the theories of cultural border crossing and resiliency, this paper highlights the stories of eight successful African American women who earned a terminal degree in a STEM field. The purpose of the study was to identify and describe the key factors that these women said aided in their persistence and resilience during two key periods: before postsecondary education and during postsecondary education. We use a case study approach to interpret their stories about the obstacles they faced and the strategies they employed to overcome them. Our findings suggest that experiences outside of school are more important than experiences inside school. The paper concludes with a discussion of the finding's implications and recommendations for African American women's recruitment and retention in STEM.