It’s a pleasure to once again join Great Minds in STEM for the HENAAC Awards.
Each year at this event, we recognize the best and brightest Hispanic leaders and innovators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
At Lockheed Martin, we are deeply honored to be a founding supporter of this gathering.
Since the first conference in 1989, we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Great Minds in STEM to make this event into one of the most important gathering places for students, educators, and industry leaders in STEM.
For companies like ours, this conference represents the 2019 theme perfectly.
This conference is a “bridge to tomorrow.”
Here, at this event, we meet, we plan, and we work together to build the strong and diverse workforce of tomorrow.
A workforce that will advance scientific discovery, revolutionize technology, and protect and improve our lives.
Tonight, we celebrate our nation’s top engineers, scientists, and technologists.
You will hear inspiring stories of aspiration and achievement.
And, each year these stories inspire young people “reach for the stars.”
I’d like to share one of those stories, the story of Lourdes Maldonado.
Lourdes is a first-generation American.
For her entire life, she called sunny Southern California her home.
That is, until last month, when Lourdes packed up and moved to Fort Worth, Texas, to work for Lockheed Martin.
Lourdes knew that moving to Texas would be an adjustment.
But she was ready for the challenge, because she always knew she wanted to join our team.
As a student at the University of California Irvine, Lourdes discovered her passion for aerospace and defense.
And, she quickly put Lockheed Martin at the top of her list of potential employers.
In 2017, she had her first opportunity to meet with our recruiters at an on-campus career event.
The recruiters recognized her potential and strongly encouraged Lourdes to attend the Great Minds in STEM Conference, for a chance to interview for a position with our company.
Lourdes followed their advice.
She attended last year’s conference in Pasadena.
She interviewed with Lockheed Martin.
And Lourdes got an “on-the-spot” job offer.
She is now a quality engineer supporting our Integrated Fighter Group at our Aeronautics business area.
Lourdes credits Great Minds in STEM for being the bridge that connected her to her dream job.
Although she isn’t even two months into her job, Lourdes says she can’t wait to come back to this event.
She plans to return as a volunteer, so she can reach out and encourage other students to pursue their dreams as she did.
Lourdes Maldonado’s story is a reminder to all of us of the bridges we can help build here.
Bridges to leaders and mentors, Bridges to life-changing careers, and, Bridges to hope and opportunity for families and communities.
On behalf of Lockheed Martin, I thank you all for attending this important event and for supporting all that Great Minds in STEM stands for.
And, I thank you for what this conference means to individual lives today… and to our nation’s bright future.
Enjoy the evening!
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