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NASA Astronaut, Congresswoman Discuss STEM Careers with Students

NASA/Brandon Torres

NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren talk with students and families at Youth Alliance, a community organization in Hollister, California, on Jan. 5. 

Mann, who was born in another small California community, spoke about her parents’ work as an auto mechanic and a manicurist and her own path to becoming a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. Later, she said, becoming the first indigenous woman from NASA to go to space helped her connect with people of other indigenous communities. Mann is registered with the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. 

Lofgren, the ranking member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, highlighted the diverse careers available at NASA, including both technical and non-technical jobs. She reminded the young people present that NASA’s Ames Research Center, located nearby in California’s Silicon Valley, is a resource available to them, and encouraged the students to apply for internships there.