“LEAP Literally Helping Students Aim for the Stars”

LEAP LLC Mentorhsip Trip
LEAP, LLC spearheaded a personalized career field trip for one of its LEAP Foundation DC Student Ambassadors and former scholarship recipient, Kevin Thomas Akers.

WASHINGTONFeb. 3, 2016PRLog — Through its ongoing efforts to promote youth education and to be actively engaged in the mentorship of young minority men, LEAP, LLC, spearheaded its first personalized career field trip to the NASA Headquarters this past week in Washington, D.C. A previous recipient of a LEAP Foundation DC Scholarship and a member of the organization’s Student Ambassador Program, Kevin Thomas Akers was presented with the opportunity to visit the NASA Headquarters after expressing his interest in space to the Small Business Administration’s Washington Director, Mr. Antonio Doss.

Earlier this year, Kevin attended the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative valedictory ceremony as a guest of honoree and LEAP CEO, Dr. Clayton Lawrence. It was here that he expressed a passion and interest in having a career within the field of space and aeronautics. Mr. Doss and Dr. Lawrence immediately took it upon themselves to organize a career-shaping opportunity for Kevin. With his own personal background in the medical field, and a strong understanding of the need for the United States to continue producing more young men and women who are advanced in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), Dr. Lawrence has placed an extremely high importance on he and his organizations’ efforts to support students who express an interest in these areas.

At NASA, Kevin was provided with a detailed briefing and tour of the headquarters, and was afforded the opportunity to meet three senior-level NASA officials and astronauts: Dr. Charles Bolden, Dr. Dava Newman, and Dr. John Grunsfeld. Major General Bolden (USMC Ret), has overseen the safety of over 30 years of space exploration and was most recently nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 12th Administrator of NASA. Dr. Newman was the former Apollo Program Professor of Aeronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before she was appointed as the Deputy Administrator of NASA in April of 2015. Dr. Grunsfeld, previously responsible for managing the Hubble Space Telescope as the Deputy Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, has served as NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate since 2012.

Kevin not only had the opportunity to meet some of NASA’s highest ranking officials, but also took the time to pay his respects to astronauts that had lost their lives in space exploration and missions. Dr. Lawrence recapped the day stating, “It was truly an incredible opportunity to see this outstanding young man have direct exposure to a field for which he has a tremendous passion. I am extremely grateful to Mr. Antonio Doss for helping make this a possibility for Kevin, and want to express deep gratitude to Dr. Charles Bolden, Dr. Dava Newman, and Dr. John Grunsfeld for taking the time out to make this event even more memorable.”

Kevin’s parents, Mr. Patrick Akers and Ms. Deborah Greene, have been the foundation of success in Kevin’s life, and he continues to be guided by their unwavering support. “He said ‘it was his best day ever’,” said Ms. Greene, when asked about what Kevin thought of the experience. Dr. Lawrence concluded, “Opportunities to inspire the next generation to chase their goals relentlessly are those that myself and LEAP will always seek to support. We consider it a privilege to play just a small part in helping shape young lives and hope to show more young people that the sky really is the limit for achieving success when you reach for the stars.”

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