#121 Mentorship and Innovation Ideas for Your Teen with Tony Antonelli and Wilson Turner

In this episode, Lisa, Tony, and Wilson discuss:

  • The critical role of getting involved in research and gaining experiences can play for students of all ages
  • The importance of student initiative and resilience in shaping successful future opportunities for your teen.
  • The fascinating career path of NASA astronaut and Space Shuttle Pilot, Tony Antonelli
  • How to teach your teen email and LinkedIn etiquette to help connect them to people and opportunities.


Key Takeaways: 

  • It’s okay for students to be afraid – if a challenge is in the path of the thing you want to accomplish, you can push through to find success.
  • People who love their job and like teens will step up and give your student time to talk about careers, but your student needs to ask.
  • There are many paths to becoming an astronaut – it’s not a one-path career. The same might be said for your student’s passion. Support those passions.
  • Encourage your teen to jump at many opportunities they’re presented with. If it doesn’t work out, something else will present itself.
  • Your teen doesn’t need to go to an Ivy League school to qualify for significant opportunities. Opportunities can be found anywhere.


“It’s not where you start. It’s not what you struggle with. It’s whether or not you’re willing to put in the hard work to just push through your challenges.” – Tony Antonelli


About Tony Antonelli:

Astronaut Tony Antonelli (Captain, US Navy, Ret.) serves as a mentor and scholarship selection committee member for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. He is a retired Astronaut, Naval Aviator, and Test Pilot.

Tony graduated with a BS in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from MIT in 1989 and a Master of Science in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2002. Antonelli served as a fleet Naval Aviator and Landing Signal Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with the Blue Diamonds, Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-146, flying F/A-18C Hornets in support of Operation Southern Watch.

Tony has accumulated over 4,700 flight hours in over 40 different kinds of aircraft and has completed 273 carrier-arrested landings. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the US Air Force Test Pilot School (Navy Exchange Pilot).

Tony joined NASA in 2000 as a pilot astronaut candidate. A veteran of two space flights, Tony logged 24 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes, and 35 seconds in space. Tony served in various technical assignments in support of the Astronaut Office; including leadership roles for the Space Launch System, Commercial Crew, Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM), and Space Shuttle Propulsion.

Tony retired from NASA in July 2015 and worked for six years at Lockheed Martin in various Executive roles.


About Wilson Turner:

Wilson is a 2022 Astronaut Scholar who graduated from the University of Chicago with degrees in Molecular Engineering and Chemistry. He currently works as a launch engineer for SpaceX, where he works on the design, build, and testing of launchpad systems to support Starship – history’s largest and most powerful rocket.


Episode References:


Get Lisa’s Free on-demand video: How-to guide for your teen to choose the right major, college, & career…(without painting themselves into a corner, missing crucial deadlines, or risking choices you both regret). 



Connect with Tony:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tony-antonelli-36690290


Connect with Wilson:

Instagram: instagram.com/turnerwr


Connect with Lisa:

Website: flourishcoachingco.com

YouTube: youtube.com/@flourishcoachingco

Instagram: instagram.com/flourishcoachingco

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/flourish-coaching-co

Access the episode transcript here