Leland Melvin once dreamed of becoming a star in the NFL. After a pair of injuries derailed his days on the gridiron, his dream took on a new shape – one that followed in the footsteps of NASA icons Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Melvin, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Education, visited Aurora Central High School recently and spoke to hundreds of students about his days in the NFL and in space. Renowned as the only person to play professional sports and fly a space mission, Melvin reminded students that perseverance and dedication can take you a long way towards accomplishing a goal.
He stressed the importance of taking advantage of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational opportunities that APS provides. He told students to always carve their own path, and be inspired as they do it.
“Don’t wait for someone to give you something,” Melvin said. “Create it yourself.”
Melvin is responsible for the development and implementation of NASA’s education programs, which strengthen student involvement and public awareness about its scientific goals and missions. In this role, he leads the agency in inspiring interest in STEM through NASA's unique mission, workforce, facilities, research and innovations.
SHADES OF BLUE, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing students with the educational opportunities, training and employment assistance needed to pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industries, hosted Melvin’s visit to APS and other neighboring school districts.