People can because they think they can.
But before the “think they can” part, there simmers a shy, fledgling dream. This dream seedling is the genesis of something great—and the single-minded belief in oneself is the subsequent spark of the dream’s ever-branching opportunities and possibilities.
The Aerospace Corporation found this very special combination of belief, chutzpah, intelligence, and heart in a young man named Odinakachukwu Amobi, or “Aka” for short. We saw his dream and his drive, and we wanted to be a part of it—to contribute to it in a meaningful way— and thus awarded Amobi the 2018 Dr. Wanda M. Austin STEM Endowment scholarship.
Amobi, a student of St. Bernard High School, has achieved astounding academic success at the highest level and enhanced his school’s STEM program with his positive and enthusiastic approach to learning, particularly in robotics. Born in Torrance, California, Amobi moved back and forth between Nigeria and California during his elementary years. As a young child, Amobi would go with his mother on weekly trips to The Proud Bird, an airplane-themed restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport (and a long-favorite haunt of Aerospace employees). Instead of eating, Amobi remembers gazing in awe at the vast collection of instruments of flight. Science continued to command his attention, and an eighth-grade science class would ultimately ignite his dream to reach for the stars.
Aerospace established the Dr. Wanda M. Austin STEM Endowment scholarship in 2015. The fund provides financial assistance to underrepresented and underprivileged high school students who demonstrate academic excellence and strong leadership skills, and intend to pursue undergraduate study in a STEM field at a four-year college or university.
Amobi will receive a $10,000 scholarship, which is potentially renewable for up to four years, along with a summer internship opportunity at Aerospace. He will attend California State University, Northridge in the fall to start his undergraduate studies in computer engineering.
Want to support future engineers and scientists?
Donate to the Dr. Wanda M. Austin STEM Endowment Fund.