Lockheed Martin engineer speaks to Westside Students

Niles Nilo (left) is pictured with Cottonwood Elementary School’s Scholar Ambassadors.

PALMDALE – Lockheed engineer Niles Nilo visited Cottonwood Elementary School last week to speak to the school’s Scholar Ambassadors about future careers and the importance of education.

The Scholar Ambassador program is designed to provide students at the elementary school level with opportunities to prepare for future successes and learn about career options.

Nilo is the father of a former Cottonwood student and relished the opportunity to speak to the current students about their theme “Be a shining STAR, reaching above and beyond!”

STAR stands for Scholars Taking Academic Responsibility.

If there is something you love, you can find a way to make it into your career, Nilo told the students.

Nilo encouraged Cottonwood students to take their theme and their Scholar Ambassador program seriously by getting all they can out of the learning opportunities.

“Your ambassador program is teaching you how to be a good leader,” Nilo remarked to the students.  “That will help you in the future if you keep working hard.”

Nilo gave Scholars a PowerPoint presentation, illustrating the many career opportunities available in the fields of aerospace and engineering.  He also outlined programs that will be available to the students in middle school such as VEX robotics and Super Science Saturday events.

During the question and answer period of the event, students asked what inspired Nilo to become an engineer.

“I loved Star Wars,” he said, receiving giggles and cheers from his young audience. “I loved legos, I loved airplanes and I loved taking things apart.  If there is something you love, you can find a way to make it into your career.”

Principal Paula Sour was proud of her Scholar Ambassadors for taking such an interest in preparing for future careers.

“We are planting seeds to help them start thinking about the future,” she said.  “Elementary school is the time to help them understand the importance of education in all subjects.  We want them to explore opportunities, decide what they love and work hard to reach above and beyond.”

“At Westside, we continue to cultivate relationships with organizations like Lockheed Martin in order to prepare our students for the challenges of the future,” said Regina Rossall, superintendent of Westside Union School District.  “The programs Westside offers – such as Cottonwood’s Scholar Ambassadors – are preparing the next generation to lead us into the future of science, technology, engineering and math.”

For more information about Cottonwood’s Scholar Ambassador program, contact the school office at 661-267-2825.