After his first college experience, Ryan Krull had good reason to give up on higher education. The 22 year-old Bridgeport native went from Walter Payton College Prep to UIC, but he didn’t have a strong enough interest in what he was learning in his pre-med studies. His academic performance suffered as a result, so Ryan left school.

A difficult period followed, but Ryan didn’t give up on school. He knew that once his education aligned with his passion—engineering—he would succeed.

He started at City Colleges in the summer of 2017 and spent time at Malcolm X College, Wright and Daley College. It was a Daley College engineering class, however, that changed his life. He joined Daley’s engineering club and eventually served as president. He set his sights on learning more about aerospace.

“Until I took an engineering class at Daley, I didn’t think my dream of working in the field was possible,” said Ryan.

“I was told the path would be too difficult for me, but thanks to my classmates encouraging me and the outstanding and very dedicated faculty and staff at the College, my confidence grew and I really hit my stride.”

After earning enough credits to transfer, Ryan charted out his next steps. In the fall of this year (2019), he plans to enroll at Northwestern, UIC or IIT, where he’ll pursue his bachelor’s degree. In the meantime, Ryan is currently an intern for NASA in Virginia. While at the NASA Langley Aeronautics Research Center, Ryan is conducting research, working on prototypes and learning what is required of aerospace professionals.

Ryan’s involvement with NASA started in the summer of 2018, when he was selected as a NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar. That program allowed him to spend time at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and participate in a robotics competition and experience the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, where he built a rocket payload experiment that flew on a NASA Terrier-Orion rocket. Ryan hopes to continue in 2019 as a summer intern at NASA.

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