Reaching for the stars

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, July 16, 2008

By Staff
Story and photo by Lisa Tindell
Since the age of 6, Nick Benjamin has had his eye on the goal line of a football field. As an adult, he's now aiming for the stars - literally.
Benjamin will begin his career in the space industry this August when he takes his position at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The NASA-run center will have Benjamin working at shuttle operation controls at the level 7 position.
Benjamin will be working with the design and engineering of space travel vehicles, he said.
Benjamin, the son of Danny Benjamin and Josephine Wiggins graduated in 2003 from W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton. He continued his education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., where he graduated in May.
The plan to earn a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering would be a struggle for many. Benjamin worked hard toward the degree but was able to accomplish even more goals along the way.
Benjamin cultivated an interest in engineering early, with a growing curiosity of all things mechanical winning his attention. “I always liked to build things and see how things worked,” Benjamin said. “I was good at math all through school and choosing a career in mechanical engineering just seemed to fit.”
Being an engineer wasn't always at the top of Benjamin's priority list.
Benjamin's father played football for W.S. Neal High School, and he was happy to follow in his footsteps.
Football could have been a long-term career for Benjamin, however a secure future won in the end.
Benjamin's job at NASA will begin on Aug. 18 and is bringing some anxiousness into his life, he said.
Benjamin said this position at NASA is just a starting point in his engineering career.
Although Benjamin will be moving up the career ladder, he hasn't forgotten his roots or where his grounding is.

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