As a student who has an endless love for learning and strong interest in the space industry, Higher Orbits has always been the perfect fit for me to explore my passion for space while learning both soft and technical skills through their STEM-based programs. In November of 2021, I had the honor of attending AIAA's ASCEND conference with Higher Orbits as a student presenter. Along with some other students who had been through the Higher Orbits programs and knew the incredible impact they make, we presented on a panel during which we
outlined our experiences with the Go for Launch! programs and the impact they had made on our
The opportunity to attend a professional conference as a presenter when I was only 16 years old made a lasting impact on my life. Not only was the conference itself a phenomenal experience that taught me my first introductory lesson in how to network, how to prepare for large presentations with a live audience, and gave me the confidence to share my ideas as an individual, but even after the conference I still found myself referencing my experiences.
As I began to get older and attend more conferences and events, I felt that the experience allowed me to feel
comfortable networking with others because I had already learned how to conduct myself at the ASCEND conference. It truly meant a lot from a personal standpoint when I was taken seriously by the people I talked to during my time at ASCEND. This made me feel like I had the credibility to take action to attend other professional conferences because I realized that there was no reason for me to feel out of place, which has in turn advanced my networking and professional profile. This all happened because I had the chance to get familiar with a professional conference as a high schooler due to the Higher Orbits program making that opportunity available.
The reason that I was able to physically attend this event in person and have these life changing experiences was because of the Miles on a Mission program with Higher Orbits. Since they were able to use the donated miles to cover the cost of my flight, I was able to immerse myself in the experience and focus on the conference rather than worrying about any financial sacrifices that I would have had to make in order to attend the event. The Miles on a Mission campaign with Higher Orbits is crucial for students like myself so that they can gain professional experiences that they otherwise would not have had.
AIAA's ASCEND conference with Higher Orbits
When students are able to participate in events like ASCEND from a young age, it makes a lasting impact on their lives and makes our future generation of scientists even stronger.