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Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.


Kobie Boykins
Mechanical Engineering section
NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California

Advice for students still at school
As a high school student, even as an elementary school student, don't let anybody deter you from your dreams. Don't stop looking to the stars, don't stop pressing yourself to go as far as you can. A lot of people when you say, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and you say "I want to be an astrophysicist," they look at you with a crooked eye and ask why would you want to do that, don't let them deter you. Make sure that you say, I want to do that because it's what I think I should do, or it's what I feel I want to do. I want to build space planes, I want to go to the center of the Earth, I want to be the first person on Mars - I want to be the first woman on Mars, or man on Mars - I want to be the first African-American to land on the Moon. Whatever it is, don't let anybody deter you from that, number one, first and foremost.

Second thing is, do all the things that you want to do. Yeah, I was a "geek," I was a "nerd," I was always put in that caste, but I played football, I played soccer, I played baseball, I played hockey. And I was always involved in my community, I was involved in my school and all those things sort of started to round me out, so that colleges wanted to see me.

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