York Tech student in NASA Scholars program

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From release
York Technical College student Tommy Rainey of Indian Land has been selected to travel to NASA’s Langley Research Center this month to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars project (NCAS).
He is one of 304 community college students from across the United States to be part of NCAS.
Rainey, 29, is a full-time student at York Tech, pursuing a computer engineering technology and electronics engineering technology double major. He also works as an intern at Unified A/V Systems in Charlotte.
“Where most kids dream of playing professional football or being a rock star, I was dreaming of NASA,” Rainey said. “Being accepted into the program makes that dream feel obtainable.
“It has inspired me to set bigger goals and believe that anything is possible.
“I hope to take advantage of everything the program has to offer and possibly follow up with an internship or apply for a position post- graduation.”
Rainey plans to re-enter the job market full time after completing his associate degrees in the spring and begin working on his bachelor’s degree part time next fall at USC Lancaster.
The five-week NASA scholars program culminates with a four-day on-site event at Langley Research Center, offering students the opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and others as they learn more about careers in science and engineering.
While at NASA, students form teams and establish fictional companies interested in Mars exploration. Each team is responsible for developing and testing a prototype rover, forming a company infrastructure, managing a budget and developing communications and outreach.
The on-site experience at NASA includes a tour of facilities and briefings by NASA subject matter experts.
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars is a project funded in part by the Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP), which is committed to engaging underrepresented and underserved students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in authentic learning experiences to sustain a diverse workforce.
With this activity, NASA continues the agency’s tradition engaging the nation in NASA’s mission.
“NCAS not only inspires community college students to advance in STEM fields, but it also opens doors for future careers at NASA. NCAS has a legacy of alumni moving from NASA internships to ultimately entering the NASA workforce. It is rewarding to see the progression of a student from NCAS participant to NASA colleague,” said Joeletta Patrick, MUREP manager.
For details on the scholars program, contact National Community College Aerospace Scholars at JSC-NCAS@mail.nasa.gov or (281) 483-0493, or visit http://ncas.aerospacescholars.org.
For more on MUREP, visit www.nasa.gov/education/murep.