NORWALK – Norwalk High senior Promise Agbo is closer to her dream of becoming a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineer after she was named one of 30 Edison Scholars across Southern California to be awarded a $40,000 scholarship.
Agbo plans to major in mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science at Stanford University.
“Now I don’t have to worry about financial struggles and I can focus on internships and other opportunities,” Agbo said. “I can focus on getting more experiences in the aerospace engineering industry.”
She interned for a month at NASA in Houston, Texas where, at 16 years old, she conducted astronomy research and learned how to track asteroids by using the stars in the sky. She also worked with engineers and developed an idea on a hybrid spacecraft that would have dual functions as a satellite and a land rover.
“It’s exciting to potentially have my ideas and dreams come to fruition,” Agbo said. “Having the power to be able to explore something we never really knew about makes me happy.”
Agbo became interested in astronomy when her dad took her on midnight walks to discover Venus and constellations in the night sky. She built robots and videos games in seventh grade at Los Alisos Middle School, and learned about career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields from Teacher on Special Assignment Project Lead The Way coordinator Kelly Garcia.
“Hopefully, I can come back to Norwalk-La Mirada Unified and tell girls that there are opportunities that let us be involved in STEM,” Agbo said.
“Even if it seems that going to college is difficult, if you push through, you can find opportunities that can make your dreams a reality.”
Agbo continued to study STEM subjects at Norwalk High by pursuing the school’s computer science and software engineering pathway.
“Norwalk-La Mirada Unified teachers and administrators help our students discover their true potential and provide them the mentorship to pursue their dreams,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Congratulations to Promise for your hard work, and I look forward to your success with NASA.”