Friday, February 7, 2014

Interviewing Barrington Irving by Caeley L.

Recently, Girl Scout Caeley L. had the opportunity to interview Aerospace Engineer, Barrington Irving for a PBS Series called The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. She tells the story of her interview with Mr. Irving and how Girl Scouts has helped her get to where she is today. Here is her experience…

Interviewing Barrington Irving

By Caeley L.

On December 4, 2013, I was fortunate enough to film an episode for an online PBS series called The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers.  I not only had the experience of a life time, but I met such an amazing person.  I had been told that I was interviewing an Aerospace Engineer named Barrington Irving, and for those of you who haven't heard of him, he is the first African American to fly around the world, and the youngest to do it as well.  I, being an aspiring aerospace engineer myself, was so excited to be meeting such an outstanding person.  I came prepared with questions to ask, such as what a typical day looks like for him. 

When we met and started having a conversation, I was blown away by everything he had achieved and all the work he does now.  We spoke about my college plans and he gave me advice on college preparation and what life looks like for an aerospace engineer.  My last question for him was "Do you have any advice for an aspiring engineer?" I will never forget what he told me.  He said, "Anything is possible, you can do whatever you set your mind to, and if you have your mind set on getting a man on mars, then that is what you are going to do." 

Overall, the whole evening, meeting him and speaking with him, was one of the most inspirational times of my life.  He justified the decision I made to major in aerospace engineering in college and he set my mind toward achieving so many things in the engineering world. 

When interviewing with Barrington Irving, I realized how much Girl Scouts has helped me get to get to where I am today.  Being a member of the Media Girls gave me the courage to talk in front of the camera.  Typically, I am a shy girl, but Media Girls truly taught me to break out of that shell. I am less nervous talking not only during a big media event, but Media Girls has trained me to speak more eloquently by getting me to eliminate the "ums" after all of my sentences. 

Another part of Girl Scouts that helped me with the interview was Girl Scout's great STEM program.  Seven years ago, GSNC began a FIRST Robotics program that I have been a part of since day one.  The experiences Girl Scouts of Nassau County gave me with robotics pushed my expectations for my future toward engineering.  If GSNC hadn't begun the FIRST program, then I would never have had the opportunity to speak with Barrington Irving.

*GSNC has no affiliation with Barrington Irving.

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