“I was really excited about it, but never really thought I would be able to make it into the program.”
As a student at College of Lake County, Paul applied for many scholarships; eventually, he realized that “OMD was the right one for [him].” With dreams of becoming an aerospace or mechanical engineer, Paul was encouraged to apply to NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars, a summer program where he could further pursue his passions.
Paul was one of the 348 students across the US that were selected. The camp itself was intensive, and Paul completed several projects with his team of scholars. These “missions,” carried out by the teams that established fictional companies, presented their complete plans for collecting rock samples and salvaging rover parts. The teams were judged by a panel and had to adhere to the strict NASA policies that would have been used for real missions.
His time at the program reinforced his interest in these topics, and he plans to pursue a career in engineering. He recognizes that OMD has helped him in many ways, including balancing priorities and “offered a lot. . . financially and socially.” Paul plans to transfer to one of the University of Illinois campuses and major in aerospace or mechanical engineering.