Reaching for the Stars
“I realized it’s not really about your history or where you’re from, it’s about who you are today and what you’re willing to learn and take on”
Associate of Science, Computer Science
NASA Student Intern and Recipient of the Georgia Pacific Halsey Mill Scholarship and the Eric Mann Memorial Scholarship
As a seventh-grade drop-out who earned a GED rather than a high school diploma, Levi Willmeth never imagined he would someday work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA.
But after attending LBCC, that’s exactly what Levi did.
In his mid-20s, unsure of what he wanted to do, Levi turned to Linn-Benton Community College. He was looking for his purpose in life. “I just enrolled in classes and thought I’d figure it out as I went,” he said.
One day he came across a flier posted on his computer science classroom door announcing a meeting of the college’s Space Exploration Club. Levi joined the club and discovered a passion for space exploration and computer science. Exceeding his own expectations, he soon became president of the club, and earned an internship at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
“For someone like me, with just a GED, to work for a place like NASA seemed like a total impossibility,” said Levi. “Coming to LBCC and working with the Space club, I realized it’s not really about your history or where you’re from, it’s about who you are today and what you’re willing to learn and take on.”
Levi is now finishing his bachelor’s degree at OSU and continues to work on special projects for NASA. Looking back, Levi says his best memories were at LBCC. “To me, community college is a great way to discover yourself.”
“The scholarships I received from the LBCC Foundation really helped me further my educational goals. They allowed me to spend more time working on projects with the Space Exploration Club, which helped me land my first NASA internship. That internship led to my continued work with NASA today. The LBCC Foundation really helped set me on a path to an interesting career and a bright future.