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


Lisa Marker Robbins 00:34

In today’s episode, we’re delving into the fascinating world of innovation and mentorship celebrating National astronaut day alongside the esteemed astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which is celebrating his 40th anniversary. It’s truly an honor to welcome our distinguished guests, including Tony Antonelli, a retired NASA astronaut who piloted to space shuttle missions, and firmly believes that innovation is what is necessary and possible for the next generation to solve the problems of our world. Together with Tony’s mentee, Wilson Turner who works at SpaceX will embark on a journey through their experiences shedding light on the importance of research, initiative, and resilience in shaping successful careers that just might resonate with your team, from navigating High School aspirations to pursuing passions will uncover the invaluable lessons that will likely inspire parents and students, inspiration on high value, extracurriculars, careers, scholarships, such as what ASF offers, paying for college, and more. So join us as we pay tribute to the spirit of exploration and innovation and glean insights to empower your team on their journey towards a fulfilling future. I’m Lisa Mark Robbins, and I want to welcome you to College and Career Clarity, a flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right in to a great conversation.

Lisa Marker Robbins 02:12

Tony and Wilson, welcome to the show. Thank you for making time to join me as we celebrate, you know, may 5, just two days ago, national astronaut day commemorating you know, United States first human flight and space, you guys both work and have worked or are working and space. And actually the 40th anniversary of the astronaut Scholarship Foundation, which we’re going to learn more about that as we talk. You know, I think the best place to start is Tony, we’re gonna start with you. You’re the mentor. And you’re retired NASA astronaut you piloted two space shuttle missions. So tell us a little bit about I mean, in a rather quick overview, probably but your path I know you went to MIT undergrad, and how you ended up becoming an astronaut working for NASA. And in bringing them up to date as to what you’re doing now and how that includes the the great relationship that you and Wilson have.

Tony Antonelli 03:21

All right, great. Thanks. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here and get a chance to talk to you about the astronaut Scholarship Foundation. My path was like you said I got a bachelor’s degree from MIT. I was Navy ROTC so the Navy paid for my undergraduate education and I got commissioned in the Navy, the same day, graduated in the morning, and then commissioning ceremony in the afternoon. The short version is flew airplanes for the Navy, learn to test airplanes did that professionally for just a little while and then showed up at NASA. I worked at NASA for about 15 years, a handful of different technical assignments. And then I was lucky enough to get to fly in space a couple of times and left NASA in 2015, I work to work in the aerospace industry. On the commercial side, I found ASF while I was while I was in that realm, really excited about ASF like you said it’s the 40th anniversary but I want to highlight a few of their metrics, right. We’re just starting the screening process for the 2024 applicants. So when we announced those winners, this August will be well over 800 scholarships awarded. We’re already over $9 million in scholarships awarded and my note said 48 But I think there’s even more universities across the country. This is one one of a handful of prestigious STEM Awards that completely merit based and of course we got Wilson here Hear as I was one of the scholars, I’ve been on the My first intro to ASF Oh, for started 40 years ago by the original seven, Mercury seven. And then they’ve invited the rest of us that came after him to join. I’m really excited. One of the things I get to do, which we’ll highlight here is mentoring. But my intro was part of the scholarship screening committee. So I’ve seen Wilson and his other scholars applications, and they are, they’re tremendous of the first year I was part of the screening committee. It hit me really hard, realizing how little I’ve accomplished in my life and how much they’ve done already. So one of the things that I’m really happy about this podcast is getting an opportunity to reach out to high school juniors and or seniors, and let them know that this ASF scholarship is merit based, it’s focused on STEM, the original seven realize that America wants to stay a preeminent power in science, technology, engineering and math. And we better support the best and brightest in our country. So this is a the terms I use, but you can correct them if the wrongest upper level. So college junior and senior scholarship. But if you want to be competitive with with people like Wilson, you, you need to get started. And so you’re still in high school, really, when you’re still in high school. But definitely you want to show up to college, already knocking on professors doors that are doing research that you’re interested in, I’m sure I’m sure they’re, they want to help. They just need you to knock on their door, and introduce yourself and share your passion.

Lisa Marker Robbins 06:52

Such a great overview. And so I love though, and I can’t believe I mean, we’re about the same age, and you just went through like our entire adult professional life, which spans you know, how many years at this point faster than I said, Hey, let’s do a quick overview. It was amazing. And then it just brought so many questions to mind. I want to ask you this before we go ahead, and we are going to go ahead and get Wilson in here. But what at what point did you know were you in high school when you started thinking like this, like a career in aerospace or stem? Like what was it at the point where because our listeners are going to be parents of teenagers, and others that work with teenagers and some some of the students and so when did this light bulb start to go on for you?

Tony Antonelli 07:45

Much earlier and much later, right? When I was really young. I thought the idea of flying in space and exploring would be fantastic. But I really didn’t have any sense of like how you put a career path together, right? Like both elementary school early elementary school. By the time I was in high school, the only thing I knew was I wanted to go to college. And I long story about why I knew that but I knew I wanted to go to college. And so I set set my sights on that. However, I didn’t have the means to pay for college, I did not grow up wanting to fly airplanes. Turns out I’m afraid of heights, I’m afraid of the dark I scare really easy. So and I didn’t want go in the military, I only ended up going into the Navy as a partnership was that was the path back down to pay for college. So then once I was once a paid for four years, they wanted me to serve in the Navy. And so then I later found flying in airplanes. And so the message two parts of this actually, early high school, like I failed ninth grade science class, right? So if you were one of my classmates for sharing that, yeah, if you were one of my classmates looking around, nobody was looking at me thinking I was gonna go to MIT or, or fly in space or do anything else, right? So it’s not, it’s not where you start. It’s not what you struggle with, right? It’s whether or not you’re willing to put in the hard work to just push through your challenges. So so that’s one and then the other one is like, Hey, it’s okay to be afraid of stuff. If it’s in your path to something you want to do, you can you can push right through that. And and there’s plenty of us that want to help you and support you. You just have to have to let us know how to help. Well,

Lisa Marker Robbins 09:33

I think that’s a great segue of like, so you and I both have a passion about helping the younger generation, find their path be equipped, mentor them, and you’re doing it very dialed in and to the aerospace industry, which is a great I’m gonna let you go ahead and introduce Wilson now. Ah, Oh, that could be dangerous because we have before we started the podcast, so I know this probably feels risky. But I’m going to let Tony introduce you. I’ll

Tony Antonelli 10:11

be on my very best behavior because Wilson gets to talk next. And pieces, he teases me way, way more than I tease him. And, and I and I have a really fragile ego. However, you said dialed in on aerospace. And I want to make it clear that the ASF scholarship is as broad with under the stem umbrella. So any science or engineering or technology, I believe that the challenges the world face today will be easily solved in the future. As soon as we get all the boys and girls around the world that might be passionate about STEM Science and Engineering a chance to discover it, find their own passions and then support them, they’ll develop technologies that will solve all all today’s challenges, I have the complete confidence, we just have to find them, encourage them and support them, which

Lisa Marker Robbins 11:12

is about so I said aerospace because you to both. That’s your background and passion. But really, it’s about STEM and innovation, even though the name of its astronaut scholarship foundation, but it’s really about innovation and dialing into STEM. Right.

Tony Antonelli 11:29

Right. And that that’s our nod to our founders, the original Mercury seven. But their belief was the same right? We need scientists and engineers across the country support it. But anyway, I haven’t I haven’t read Wilson’s bio recently. So I’m going to stay high level but not just Wilson, but his entire class of scholars. They, they they win the scholarships, when they’re juniors and seniors, universities all across the country will send him in particular and he’ll he’ll tell you he didn’t start his undergraduate work in aerospace, and currently has his graduate schools, not in aerospace, he will have no doubt come across very humble. And if you listen carefully, it will leak out how brilliant he is. And relative to me off scale, brilliant, but when you put him together with his scholars, this whole class is is all in this same category. But I hesitate to steal your thunder Wilson.

Lisa Marker Robbins 12:42

Well, Wilson, welcome to the show. And so you are let’s talk let’s well right now you’re currently working at Space SpaceX, correct? That’s correct. Okay. And you know, Tony kind of teased this what so I went back I started with Tony and I said, When did you even think like, oh, I might be in space someday. And actually, everybody he was not kidding when he said he really is afraid of like we were talking about rollercoasters earlier. And Tony doesn’t like roller coaster so that overcoming the fear thing is true. So for him, it started early and then evolved, and he kind of circled back to it. Talk to us about like, Wilson in high school. What were you thinking about?

Wilson Turner 13:22

Yeah, well, first of all, thank you so much for having me on the show and giving me the opportunity to talk about my relationship with Tony and with the ASF. But I like to imagine that my trajectory is almost on a similar path as Tony’s growing up, I was very, very interested in becoming an astronaut. Like almost every five year old does, you know, wanting to go up into space like Neil Armstrong. And I was interested in becoming an astronaut, I would say up until around fifth grade, when I found out I needed glasses. And in my brain, I thought, oh my gosh, this is the end of my careers and astronaut. I think at that point, NASA still had a requirement for 2020 vision.

Lisa Marker Robbins 14:06

Do they not now.

Wilson Turner 14:08

They know they they dropped it. So it’s now correctable to 2020 admissions. So even though I need glasses, I’m still in the running. But when I was in middle school, I thought to myself, Oh my gosh, what do I do now I can’t become an astronaut. And I ended up falling in love with something completely different, which was chemistry. So throughout high school, I became very involved with chemistry, took AP Chem as a sophomore. I immediately competed during my junior and senior years in the US National Chemistry Olympiad. And when I was a junior in high school, it was actually the summer after that I showed up to the local state university Towson University and basically knocked on every professor’s door and said I don’t know anything past AP chemistry, but I will mop your floors and clean your Glassware. If I get a shot at being able to experience what a university caliber chemical research laboratories like,

Lisa Marker Robbins 15:12

how do you know to do that? Like, you know, it’s really easy in our 50s for, you know, Tony, and I look back and say like, oh, well, that was that’s a very wise thing to do, right. But most of the parents who are listening and have high schoolers, you know, they’re a little bit younger than we are. And they’re maybe their expertise isn’t mentoring or guiding? Like, how did you know and I want every listener to hear like that was so smart, like you got on campus. And then you were like, I’ll do whatever to get in the room. I just want to get in the room. And I want to learn from you. And I want to be mentored. Like, how did you know to do that? And then I also want to hear like, Did you get some nose? And some yeses? Like, what did that look like? Because a lot? Is it going to push through some nose to get to a Yes, right? Yeah,

Wilson Turner 16:03

absolutely. So the way I originally got involved was similar to Tony, I didn’t really have a path. I knew I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know exactly how I’d pay for it, especially didn’t have the financial means to pay for it out of pocket. what my mom did, who I would consider the greatest mentor in my life. And the role model for the person that I tried to be on a day to day basis was take me to college tours as early as my sophomore year of college, not because she was pushing me to do it, she actually was like, she all she wanted for me was to get B’s and to be happy. That was her only requirement for me in high school. It wasn’t someone who was pushing me to succeed. It was myself pushing myself to succeed. Um,

Lisa Marker Robbins 16:50

I can say that really is leading up. I don’t know if you have kids, Tony, but like, that’s just what we want. We just want our kids to be happy.

Wilson Turner 16:59

Absolutely. And mom, and she is. But anyways, she went the extra mile. And we drove up to Princeton University. And when we went for a tour of the school, she emailed the chemistry department and said, My son loves chemistry. Do you have like a current student who can talk to him about it? And so an undergraduate who I still like, think to this day is the reason why I’m here, met with us and told me about how he was interested in bio medical research. And so when he was a sophomore in high school, he went to the nearest hospital, and like, it was like a burning on the back of his mind. But he kept on asking, Can I please volunteer? Can I please do something. So he became the mail around there for that hospital, but ended up going on to shadow surgeons and doctors. And so I thought it worked for him. It could work for me, too. So I, I sent an email to every professor at that chemistry department at the University that was just down the street from my high school. And one professor said yes, and she was, she’s, she’s been an amazing mentor for me, we still talk regularly, still are working on publications regularly, I was actually able to publish my first article, my first peer reviewed article, when I was I just turned 18.

Lisa Marker Robbins 18:22

I was about to enter college. Amazing. Here’s what I love. I don’t even I can’t screw up this stuff. I can’t plant these things. This was not done. My regular listeners know that I preach things like kids need to learn email etiquette, right. So that’s, that’s a big one. Like I have a lead magnet that people can just download. And it’s at flourish coaching co.com, forward slash email. And it literally gives teens because everybody wants to text message or Snapchat, and it doesn’t work like that in the real world, those professors would not have said yes to your Snapchat, right? And so giving them the framework of like, how do you start the email? What’s the proper ending that will more likely get a response? And then what do you do in the body of it? Just to have that template? Because it’s a skill, that is an adulting skill that we have to practice? So you a you email, you got a bunch of probably not maybe not even knows, but like no answer, right? Which is a no. Yeah, but one person said yes. And that has the ripple effect of that. Yes. And I say this all the time, people who love their job, and people who like young adults and teens, they will step up and give you their time. So I’ll get off my soapbox. I just had to say it because you did. Right.

Wilson Turner 19:49

It’s very important. And I credit that experience a lot with being able to foster and build my level of chemistry. At that point, I had been admitted to the university Chicago where I studied both Chemistry and Molecular Engineering. Like Tony I. Yeah, already pretty light course. Yeah,

Lisa Marker Robbins 20:12

Tommy told us.

Wilson Turner 20:15

Luckily, I was able, I’m I’m very grateful to University of Chicago because I received a scholarship known as the Odyssey Scholarship, which specifically supports first generation and low income college students. And because of that, I was able to go completely for free, which was really, really a life changing outcome. And the reason why I’m sitting here, but that opens the door to so many opportunities, being able to perform research with world renowned professors, and also introducing me to their office of research and fellowships, which is how I came to know the astronaut scholarship. Very

Lisa Marker Robbins 20:50

cool. Okay, I want to hear about your guys relationship. And in the important seven, so it started, at what year junior year of college senior year of college.

Wilson Turner 21:09

I believe we called for the first time, Tony, the fall of my senior year of college after I got the scholarship.

Tony Antonelli 21:16

I was I was also a senior senior in college. Once. Yeah, so yeah. So the this scholarship in it, in addition to the monetary support, includes a few other pieces and and I’ll go first and Wilson and share the firsthand perspective, right, so, so the financial support. My favorite event that the scholarship foundation puts on is called innovators Gala, will do that in in August, this year, it’ll be right here in Houston, Texas, so I won’t travel for it. But everybody that’s awarded, scholarship comes, they do a lot of cool stuff that I don’t get invited to. But the first thing I get invited to is speed talks on their research. So you’ll hear five minute talks on the research that all the scholars are doing and I listened as intently as I can, I’m sure I only catch a small fraction of what they’re doing. And then in a in a, in a banquet setting there, they’ll get awarded their scholarships. In addition, they get paired up with mentors, some of us that have flown some of us that, it turns out there’s scholars, previous scholars that are part of the scholarship foundation board, and they participate. And then there’s industry leaders that participate as mentors as well. So we all we all get paired up. And then there will be mentor mentee for the for the year and then and then we swap out.

Lisa Marker Robbins 22:57

So the the mentor mentee relationship lasts for a year. And then you guys sometimes still keeping in touch with your mentees? And

Wilson Turner 23:10

yeah, I think it depends on the relationship. When I received the scholarship, I looked through the list of opportunities. And one of the most amazing things about the ISS mentorship opportunities is that it covers the board’s not just if you’re interested in business, there are C suite executives who are involved in the astronaut scholarship, who are interested in mentoring students, there are nonprofit owners and CEOs who are interested in in developing the next generation of bright minds who are interested in STEM, but not necessarily stem that leads to a graduate degree, maybe stem that ends up going and patenting something or building something. But as someone who still has ambitions to become an astronaut, when the NSF told me Hey, would you like one on one mentorship from a retired NASA astronaut? Pretty hard to beat. Yeah.

Lisa Marker Robbins 24:04

So talk to me about that. So you, you knew in high school like this love of chemistry started and you tapped into being able to just help at the local college, which actually then gave you a huge valuable resume builder and your extracurriculars as you were applying to use Chicago. And so as you’re doing this, at what point then you go, you go and you’re doing, you know, engineering and you’re in Chicago, and then at what point do you start thinking about space again, from, you know, back when you were five?

Wilson Turner 24:41

I think it was always in my minds as something that I’ve been passionate about. For a long time. It was okay if I can’t become an astronaut because my vision is too bad. Maybe I can support those who want to go into space and work as an engineer at NASA. And then of course, NASA drafted requirements for Isa. And suddenly I was back in the game, which was very exciting. But I think that most importantly, I’m pursuing what I’m passionate about. And there’s so many different paths to becoming an astronaut. You know, it’s not a one stop shop definite career. There are engineers, there are scientists there, obviously, naval aviators as well. But what I’m really interested in is studying and working on what I’m passionate about right now. It’s working as an engineer at SpaceX, the launchpad for starship, which is the largest rocket of all time, and maybe in a few years, it’ll be something different. But right now I’m just studying what I’m passionate about working in what I’m passionate about. And the NSF is working really hard to support that. And they do that for all their scholars

Lisa Marker Robbins 25:53

to help set you up for success. What do you think, Wilson, as we’re talking about this, that, like, that’s such a cool opportunity that you have with SpaceX right now. So what would you say are the things that have set you up to be able to get tapped to have that opportunity? Because clearly, there are lots of applicants, and there’s lots of young men and women your age who would love the opportunity that you’re having right now. And I think we don’t talk enough about it’s not just we’re I mean, you both went to very prestigious universities, right. But you don’t have to go to an MIT or a Chicago. And I’m constantly saying, Oh, my word look at the Forbes 100 list, right of of where the CEOs went. They didn’t all go to IVs. A lot of them went to the state flagship or some even started a community college. So it’s not about where you go. It’s about what you do. And that’s a something I’m super passionate about. Because particularly, you both had financial need, and you found pathways to help you afford college. But there’s a lot of people like middle and upper middle income in families that income families that cannot afford an MIT or a Chicago and they’re not going to get the kind of aid that you guys did and and I do love Tony, that you talked about your ROTC, we have a previous episode with an independent educational consultant that works with students who are going for ROTC or the service academies. I’m going to go ahead and put that ROTC ROTC episode in the show notes because somebody might have heard that Tony and then gone Wait, wait, wait, ROTC helped Tony, pay for college and then go on to become an astronaut, I would need to know more about this, right? So we’ll get that in there. But I firmly believe like, you don’t have to go to MIT. You don’t have to go to Chicago, you guys can probably name astronauts, you can probably name people that you’re working with who are doing great things that didn’t start at prestigious universities. So what are the things? What you would say, Wilson that have positioned you Well, to be able to earn an opportunity like that? Yeah, I

Wilson Turner 28:04

think that the most ethical quote, is you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. And that is one of the defining characteristics of all the astronaut scholars that I’ve met, they jump at every opportunity that they’re presented that with a, you know, get them next time mentality if it doesn’t work out, and hey, that’s great. If it does, I mean, a lot of our scholars actually do start at community college and then transfer into their state flagships. And they SF works with a lot of state flagship schools as well to promote scholars there. Because there’s, there’s truly talent everywhere. I

Lisa Marker Robbins 28:41

think that’s a really good point that you just made like, and you know, Tony, you mentioned it earlier about, like the list of NSF has particular relationships with a particular list of colleges, and you said you thought it was 48. But somewhere around 50, we’ll just say that, right. And so I saw were

Tony Antonelli 29:02

48. But, but I know they’re talking to a few other schools and a few other people to to bring a couple more universities on. So I’m really optimistic. I wanted to grow, I’ve sort of in my mind already closed the loop on the ones that are probably coming in, in another year. So you’re

Lisa Marker Robbins 29:22

helping to get get that guy. And we’ll link in the show notes. Obviously, not just to ASF but specifically to the universities where you have that relationship where there might be opportunities because I you know, Wilson, I saw what you just said which it was a wide array of universities. And we’re

Wilson Turner 29:42

actually growing at a rate of about three a year. And it’s an ever expanding network of really talented students and in schools that can supply that talent consistently. So

Lisa Marker Robbins 29:54

as we’re can’t let go have we’re gonna say something, Tony.

Tony Antonelli 29:58

Yeah, and I’m And, yeah, I’m going to shy away from from the word prestigious that you, you were thrown around because because I think they all are. I was on the screening committee last year and we get a set number of scholarships at different schools. And then there’s a few at large places. And if I could just probably dangerous to brag about one school but North Carolina a&t This past year, had amazing applicants. And they were in my sub section of the screening committee. So I pushed hard to make sure that one of them was in the running for the at large scholarship. And so this past year, the 2023 scholars, there’s three from North Carolina a&t And, and like these schools are all across the country, I consider every single one of them prestigious, and it really is about what you make of the opportunity. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’m pretty sure many of the ASF scholars throughout the 40 years have even started in community college. So it’s not, there’s no common common path for

Lisa Marker Robbins 31:14

I think that there is a place for kids who want to go, I actually have started calling those colleges that are people say highly selective, I just call them highly rejected. And the reality is, most of the kids that they’re turning down could be successful on our campus, they just don’t have space for them. Right. And so, trying to change the mindset of not chasing brand name, but finding what fits and getting that education because it is what you do when you’re on campus and the opportunities that you take advantage of. And so, you know, as we’re sliding into home plate on this fantastic topic, it’s been so fun to meet you guys. And it’s so cool to hear about this. And, you know, I just I love Tony, how you’re giving back after having this fantastic career. And you’re giving back to the next generation that just that’s what lights me up. That’s my heartbeat. So thank you for that. What advice would you have to a parent or a teen either one of you, what would be your parting words of advice, you’ve already given a lot, but anything that you didn’t get in that you want to share?

Wilson Turner 32:25

Yeah, I can go first. I mean, I’m not a parent myself. But the one piece of advice I can possibly give is you just gotta love your kid and support them and make them happy. And happiness comes in a lot of different forms, it could come from not going to a four year university either, like going to a trade school is just as important. And just as valid of a career choice as going to college and applying for something like the astronaut scholarship. So there are a lot of different paths to success and a lot of different paths to happiness. As a as someone who did apply for this scholarship, you certainly have to find a way a little bit of imposter syndrome, that I think everyone feels when they’re applying. But unless you go out and take opportunities, they’re not going to come to you and it’s it’s your responsibility as the owner of your life to always try and and better yourself and work towards these opportunities. And if they don’t work out, that’s that that’s not a roadblock to your success in the future.

Lisa Marker Robbins 33:27

I love that imposter syndrome piece because I think Tony and I can tell you that even at our age that doesn’t go away, you can find your you can find yourself in places where that can kick in, no matter how old you are, and how much experience you have you learn how to navigate it better, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t sometimes come up and that you won’t sometimes feel like Oh, that feels risky to do. But you’re gonna You got to take those risks. So I love that, Tony.

Tony Antonelli 33:59

Alright, first wrapping up my description of ASF I was I was trying to give it to you in bite sized chunks and there’s one one big piece that I’d be remiss to leave out right and at ASF we we believe we’re bringing new scholars into the family and when we think of them as part of the family and so we’ll we’re going to we’re going to be in the same family forever and doing everything we can to support Wilson and and the other scholars for me it’s it’s all for selfish reasons right I’m convinced they’re gonna make earth just even more beautiful fantastic place to live we just have to make sure he’s got everything he needs to keep working. So the other part of what I have to believe is a benefit but a Wilson knows this better me right is the opportunity at part of the innovators gala that all the scholars come together and they they form their own networks. I I got invited to one of Their discord message boards and of course I, I knew I was supposed to be just follow along lonely, they didn’t want to hear from me. But it was amazing to see them taking care of each other. And after they graduate, many of them go to go to grad schools. And so my, my mentee this year is in the process of applying to grad schools. And I’m so much more comfortable as a mentor, because I’m able to call up previous scholars that are already at the schools and and or they call each other up. And so it’s a, it really is at ASM a family so when once you win the scholarship, you’re gonna get, like, lifelong support, and you’re going to be called on to, to support scholars in the future. So when, when they wrap that part of the story up, as far as advice, I actually joke that that quick to offer advice most mostly because I’m not using any of it. But let’s see. So I I’ve heard my bio read, and maybe it was part of this intro. It turns out culturally, we, when we write our BIOS, we only hit the high points. And I was called out. And actually it was at a scholarship presentation, one of the students in the audience said, Hey, have you? Have you ever had any challenges? And it got me thinking. So I went through and listed my challenges there as part of the presentation. And it dawned on me that culturally, if you read any professional bios, when I hear others, it seems like everybody else has done it, we edit out all the challenges. And it reads like high point to high point to high point. And I got to believe that I’m not the only one that had significant challenges along the way. I’m willing to list all of mine in my bio, I just don’t want to go first. So as soon as it’s culturally acceptable to list our challenges in our professional bios, and then I’ll follow right along.

Lisa Marker Robbins 37:06

Well, but you were very helpful in saying your how you did in your freshman science class, like the that’s what we have to hear. Right?

Tony Antonelli 37:13

Yeah. And that wasn’t the only challenge that right, I was just one that was relevant. earlier. Yeah, there were, there were more along the way. If you already have found your passion, then I believe truly that it’s hard work and persistence, I like Wilson’s, you’re gonna miss all the shots you don’t take right. So you got to be present, you got to be bold enough to, to ask for help. And then if you haven’t found your passion, I really think it’s keep an open mind. Try all kinds of different stuff that your passions out there somewhere, we just have to get you and your passion together for long enough for it to set in. And then and then you can switch gears and go to, to just hard work and persistence.

Lisa Marker Robbins 37:59

Well, you’ve got to do those expense. And that’s why one of the things I really preach is curating the experience as build your self awareness and then get out there and curate the experiences and it’s so funny Wilson, I often say like, just say like, I’ll file the papers or throw things out so you can be a fly on the wall. And or you’ll go out and pick up their Panera lunch and deliver it. Just so you can see what’s going on in a particular industry. Guys, this has been fantastic. Thank you for making time. so valuable. Wish you both the best. All

Tony Antonelli 38:37

right, and if we get an ASF scholar in the future that was listening in you’ll have to let us

Lisa Marker Robbins 38:46


Lisa Marker Robbins 38:53

A heartfelt thank you to Tony and Wilson for sharing their invaluable insights with us today. After our recording session, the three of us connected on LinkedIn, a platform that well never ceases to amaze me with its power to forge meaningful connections. I’m grateful to Caroline Schumacher, President and CEO of the astronaut Scholarship Foundation, whose vision brought us together and allowed you to hear directly from an astronaut. I was previously connected with her on LinkedIn. It’s a reminder of the incredible opportunities that can stem from networking. Inside my launch Career Clarity course, I delve into the importance of leveraging LinkedIn to cultivate professional connections. to kickstart your team’s journey. I invite all our podcast listeners to download our student LinkedIn guide at flourish coaching co.com forward slash LinkedIn. I’ll also include it in the show notes alongside two episodes closely aligned with today’s discussion. Episode 91 on ROTC the program that fun Did Tony’s education at MIT and episode eight, a NASA research scientist geology career pathway. If today’s episode resonated with you, please consider sharing it with a friend who could benefit your support. Whether through sharing following rating or reviewing the podcast helps us reach more students and guide them toward a successful future. Thank you for tuning into the College and Career Clarity podcast, where we’re dedicated to helping your family transition from overwhelmed and confused to motivated, clear and confident about your teens future