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Young NASA Interns Finish in Career Exploration Program's Final Year
Career Exploration Program students Michael Carnell and Hunter Zambrano

From left to right, Career Exploration Program students Michael Carnell and Hunter Zambrano pose at their work station. Photo credit: NASA

Students in the Career Exploration Program (CEP), the student internship program at Johnson Space Center, were recognized in an awards ceremony on May 22 in honor of their achievements while working for the agency. High school and college-level interns worked part-time at JSC and gained professional experience working in science, technology, engineering, math and business career fields.

Students and mentors were presented awards such as Outstanding High School Student, Outstanding College Student, Outstanding Mentor, Mentor of the Year, High School Student of the Year and College Student of the Year. These awards were given out to students for their hard work, performance on a project and teamwork abilities. Mentors were recognized for superior leadership and guidance for their mentees. Both were considered from a letter of recommendation written by the student or mentor.

Students aired a short recap video after the awards were presented.

Brooke Montross, high school student pursuing graphic design, said, “My favorite part was meeting new people and getting to really know my co-workers. I was able to use their wisdom to gain a lot of professional experience.”

“It was cool telling people that I worked for NASA,” Tyler Garabedian, a high school student pursuing engineering, said. “I loved explaining my job and what I was doing, working on real NASA projects.”

CEP was developed in 1994 as the Student Programs and Careers in Education for high school students and the Education and Training Cooperative for college students. Students were recruited from 39 different high schools and 59 different colleges. Sixty percent of those were considered minority. More than 1,300 students have participated in CEP in the last 19 years.

Though CEP will no longer be offered, future students will be able to apply to work at NASA with the One Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI) Recruiting NASA Interns, Fellows and Scholars (NIFS) program.

For more about NASA’s OSSI program, visit: https://intern.nasa.gov/ossi/web/public/main/
Gary Jordan
NASA's Johnson Space Center