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STEM scholarship helps skyrocket engineer to a career at NASA

Palm Beach State College alumna Holly Pascal is hoping to inspire and uplift the next generation of the aerospace workforce.

Currently a NASA Headquarters Systems Engineer in Washington, D.C., Pascal is also the author of “The College to Dream Job Blueprint,” the founder of the Women’s Aerospace Network, and is passionate about advancing the building blocks of humanity throughout the solar system.

Pascal’s journey started when she received PBSC’s Capture Program scholarship through a partnership with Florida Atlantic University.

“This scholarship helped me access quality education and resources while laying the foundation for my future career,” said Pascal, a SUCCESS Magazine Women of Influence 2023 nominee.

Pascal is a Satellite Communications Systems engineer in NASA’s Space Communications & Navigation Program office, which serves all of NASA’s space communications activities, presently enabling the success of more than 100 NASA and non-NASA missions including the Hubble and James Webb Telescopes, Voyager, and the Artemis missions.

She is also the founder of the Women’s Aerospace Network, a digital platform connecting students and industry professionals within the aerospace sector, enabling collaboration and networking opportunities, while also encouraging women to establish their own groups and networks within the platform.

Founded in January 2024, she has a vision for the network to connect students with industry professionals within the aerospace sector, enabling collaboration, networking opportunities, and access to resources.

Pascal graduated with an Associate in Arts degree from PBSC in 2017 before earning a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from FAU, where she now sits on their board of advisors for their upcoming Center for Aerospace, Education and Innovation.

She also holds a master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from Eastern University and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton’s Executive Program in Leadership and Management.

Pascal’s future goals are to become an executive leader and leverage it to create a greater positive impact on humanity.

Pascal sat down to answer a few more questions about her time at PBSC, what makes the College special, and the advice she would give to others.

What is your fondest memory from your time as a PBSC student?
My fondest memory is the lasting friendships I made, many of whom I still have today.

Which PBSC professor or instructor made a lasting impact or impression on you, and why?
Karen, at PBSC, who oversaw the Capture Scholarship program, made a lasting impact on me with her constant encouragement and helpfulness. Despite taking a few years off after high school, PBSC provided me with the support and guidance I needed to feel confident as I began my college journey. The professors at PBSC were incredible, instilling in me the confidence to start my college career.

What advice do you have for today’s PBSC students?
In order to achieve more, dream more. Your success is limited only by your ability to intentionally expand your dreams.

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?
“I have learned to use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest caution.”

-Wernher von Braun, Rocket Engineer

Pascal’s goal for the Women’s Aerospace Network is to grow the subscriber list to three thousand people to launch the world’s first Women’s Aerospace Magazine in June of 2024, a free and digital resource. For more information and to sign up, visit WomensAerospaceNetwork.com and follow them on Instagram.

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