Wright Scholar

Jasmine Hughes

Chaminade Julienne High School, 2018 graduate
Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

Jasmine Hughes, a graduate of Chaminade Julienne High School, spent her summer working in the composites laboratory of AFRL's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate where she evaluated high-temperature polyimide resins and applied composite processing and characterization techniques. The Air Force uses composite materials in aircraft parts since they are lightweight and durable.

Hughes first visited the laboratory several years ago during a job shadow day, not knowing she would work there one day. Thao Gibson, her tour guide and future mentor noted that, "she asked all sorts of questions about the equipment and what we do here in the lab."

Their paths would cross again when Gibson agreed to host a Wright Scholar intern.

"I recognized her right way," Gibson said of Hughes. "I knew who she was: that girl that asked all the questions. I knew she would be good in the lab here."

Gibson's instinct was on target. She said Hughes is "a natural at research" and described her as curious and hardworking.

Before the Wright Scholar Program, Hughes said she was uncertain about her future career path. However, after this AFRL internship, she is now confident with her decision to study chemical engineering at Purdue University.

She says that the time she spent in the lab introduced her to a field that she really enjoys, one that she envisions for her future career.

Hughes said she learned a great deal from her mentors: Thao Gibson, Kaitlin Rigitano and Dr. Hilmar Koerner.

They guided me through demonstrations with verbal explanations and hands-on opportunities," she said. "While they walked me through some processes, they let me investigate others on my own."

Hughes described her AFRL internship as a phenomenal experience and said it made a big impact on her future career aspirations.