Sunday, March 16, 2014

Women In Aviation

What a treat it was to get to attend the 25th annual Women in Aviation Conference at Disney in Orlando. This conference is always an amazing gathering of so many fantastic women! I am honored to have been part of it!

The first time I ever got to attend the Women in Aviation conference, it was as a result of a scholarship. I'm pretty sure the year was 2002 and it was in Reno. Since that initial conference I have been to 2 others before this one. I hope to make it a more regular occurrence to attend!

This year I feel fortunate that I not only got to attend the conference, but I also had the opportunity to exhibit and tell so many great people about Higher Orbits & ISSET and that I got to spread the good word about Mission Discovery!

Since I have been fortunate that throughout my life there have been people (individuals and companies) kind enough to offer scholarships to various things that I was interested in and wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise, I was extremely happy to be able to offer a scholarship to any Mission Discovery through the Women in Aviation Scholarship program.

At the conference we got the idea to solicit donations $1 at a time (because that's the kind of grass roots effort we are!) to fund a scholarship for a woman (of high school or university/college age) to attend any Mission Discovery. The idea was for this scholarship to be funded solely on the kind donations of the Women in Aviation Conference attendees. Unfortunately we got the idea a little late so while some individuals were happy to donate more than the $1 requested, we only made it halfway to our goal of $500 (which is a full scholarship).... here's where you might come in :) Did you attend the conference and not get a chance to stop by and make a donation? Well here's your chance!! Help us reach our goal of funding 1 woman who is interested in STEM to attend Mission Discovery based on the kindness of donations from WAI Conference attendees. Every dollar counts! You can make your check out to Mission Discovery and mail it to
Mission Discovery 
Attn: Michelle Ham 
32 Upshur Rd 
Annapolis, MD 21402
Make sure to put WAI in the notes section so we know to be sure to apply it to this special scholarship specifically.

Thank you so much for your support!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Once a Brickie, Always a Brickie

Well for all of you who are not from "The Region" I am sure that you are wondering - what the heck is a Brickie?! Don't worry, I will get into that more in a bit but first I want to tell you about my incredible day at Hobart High School... Perhaps it deserves a bit of background first though....

I was born in Hammond, IN but within the first 6 months of my life my parents moved to Hobart, IN (both in the Chicagoland area).  Hobart is where I spent all of my years until I left to go to Purdue University. So naturally I attended Hobart High School. Worth mentioning, I attended the OLD Hobart High School... why is that worth mentioning? Well let me tell you...

I was excited when the Hobart Superintendent Dr. Peggy Buffington reached out to me and asked me if I would be willing to come by the high school and give a talk. I was excited for 2 reasons... first and foremost I was obviously excited to get to meet some great young minds and to share some thoughts with them. The second reason was because Hobart built a new school that I have heard amazing things about and I was psyched to get to check it out!

My morning started with meeting Dr. Buffington and I have to say I immediately knew that I was going to like her! She is this force of positive energy that just draws you in. Her devotion to Hobart and the students is unmistakable - it's truly an amazing thing! After a quick stop in the school board room to drop off me coat we headed to the theater. Even before we got in the door there I could tell that this new HHS was a far cry from our old HHS. Attention has been paid to every detail and as a result the school looks amazing!

I was fortunate enough to speak to a large group of students for about an hour about space and life and well a bit about me and how I got where I am. Naturally I also told them about Mission Discovery and I REALLY hope to see some of them at Mission Discovery Valparaiso University this summer! They were such an attentive group with some great questions (including 1 question that I think I will write an entire blog about at some point.. just gotta find the time!) and I hope I left them with some thoughts to think about and perhaps a piece or 2 of advice for them to carry with them in life. It was a real treat to get to be there and to interact with some great Brickies!

After the talk, Dr. Buffington was kind enough to take me on a tour of the whole high school.... All I can say is WOW! Hobart High School has so many amazing opportunities for students that certainly weren't available when I was in school there and the facility is sincerely world-class! Clearly a lot of thought and caring went into the design, building and execution of HHS. The programs and facilities are so much more than just a school though... they have a real community feel to them.

I truly look forward to being able to do more work with Hobart High School... so be on the lookout! You never know when I will be back there!

Oh and I bet you are wondering what a Brickie is ;) Well check this out...

I am proud to say I am a Brickie!
Once a Brickie, Always a Brickie!