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Once a Brookie, always a Brookie.

Back in January, I received news that would change my life in the most stellar way possible. While that may sound a bit dramatic, becoming a Brooke Owens Fellow (BOF) has helped shape my goals for the future in ways that I never could have imagined before experiencing it all first-hand. " Created to honor the legacy of a beloved space industry pioneer and accomplished pilot, Dawn Brooke Owens (1980 – 2016), the Brooke Owens Fellowship Program is designed to serve both as an inspiration and as a career boost to capable young women who, like Brooke, aspire to explore our sky and stars, to shake up the aerospace industry, and to help their fellow men and women here on planet Earth. We do this by matching thirty-six extraordinary women per year with purpose-driven, paid internships at leading aviation and space companies and organizations and with senior and executive level mentors." My Brookie Stats: Class: 2018 Host Company: Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) Industry Mentor: Nick Skytland Brookie Mentor: Katie Carroll (Miss you, Katie!!) Favorite BOF memory: Exploring Atlanta with fellow Brookies :)

How cute are my Brookie sisters?!

I'd be lying if I said I didn't stalk every single member/affiliate company of the fellowship while creating my application back in October of 2017, but (although creepy - oops?) researching more and more into the entirety of the program made me fall completely in love with the idea of possibly becoming a Brookie.

Brookie /Brooke-E/ Noun: An undergraduate woman interested in space and/or aviation who has earned her wings as a Brooke Owens Fellow through academics, service, and overall badassery. "Have you met Karen Rucker? She is ridiculously smart AND super nice/cool/fun/personable. It makes total sense that she was an inaugural Brookie." Adjective: To execute something in a badass way. "Did you see that Makiah Eustice STARTED an astronaut training program at her university!? That's some Brookie leadership if I've ever seen it."

From cosmic-class (hah) mentoring, to gaining a cohort of lifelong friends, the Brookie experience is something that I will have with me forever. A new class of girls will be announced in early 2019 (DO YOU LIKE SPACE? KEEP AN EYE ON THE SITE BC APPLICATIONS OPEN IN SEPTEMBER!!), and I cannot wait to freak them all out with my general excitement over gaining ~36 little space sisters. Read more about my Brookie experience HERE! Have questions about the program? Ask a Brookie! - Payton

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