Pay It Forward: National Institute of Aerospace Mentors Summer STEAM Students

Virginia STEAM Academy’s oldest Summer STEAM Ambassadors are now 10th graders. Many are looking for mentorship opportunities that will strengthen their technical and leadership skills. Virginia STEAM Academy is being very thoughtful in its proposed mentor-match offerings for Ambassadors across grade levels. The Academy will assess effectiveness with a small group of Ambassadors and expand as appropriate. Featured here are Virginia STEAM Academy’s first mentees.

Student Ambassadors Becca Russell (’13, ’14, and Citizen Leader ’15, Rockbridge County Public Schools), and Soraya Byrdsong (’15, Henrico County Public Schools), are mentoring with National Institute of Aerospace’s Rebecca Jaramillo. Ms. Jaramillo is Program Manager for National Public Radio’s “Innovation Now.” The program is a radio documentary series featuring compelling stories about emerging ideas, trends and discoveries in the scientific world. Ambassadors Becca and Soraya are researching and developing ideas for an upcoming program episode celebrating the 100th anniversary of NASA Langley. “I have enjoyed learning about the history of NASA and the agency’s many historic achievements and scientific legacy over the past century,” said Citizen Leader Becca. “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to become further informed about advanced innovations that will revolutionize our future in science.” The mentorship opportunity is also expanding Ambassador Soraya’s career plans. “Participating in this mentorship will give me a better background in the field of engineering. I would like to study environmental science or mechanical engineering when I go to college,” she said.