Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) recently hosted a group of students from Boys Hope Girls Hope at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The charitable organization’s mission is to guide young people in need to become well-educated, career-ready men and women.

Adrienne Somerville, Command Operations deputy director for NAVAIR, expressed the importance of mentorship and connection. She said, “Successful people put their resources into things. Significant people put their time, energy, and resources into people.”

Students from Boys Hope Girls Hope charitable organization and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) employees including Adrienne Somerville, Command Operations deputy director (5th from right) tour Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

The students, part of the Boys Hope Girls Hope World Wide Technology Scholars Program, visited the base to learn about career opportunities at NAVAIR. They were able to tour several components of the Patuxent River facilities and meet with members of NAVAIR, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), and Commander Fleet Readiness Center (COMFRC) leadership and employees.

“We had an amazing young engineer panel and phenomenal all-other professional panel that included business financial management, logisticians, contracting, information technology (IT) and former artisan mechanic from FRC East, to expose them to opportunities,” Somerville said. “They were able to meet with Mr. Steve Cricchi, executive director, NAWCAD, who introduced them to NAVAIR.”

According to Erin Beezley, Boys Hope Girls Hope service programs coordinator, “Our visit to the base provided invaluable experience to those who participated. We would be thrilled to visit again and provide more of our young people the opportunity to gain insight, guidance, and inspiration from the incredible team on base.”

Boys Hope Girls Hope tour Triton and F-35 Fighter Jet Programs

Somerville plans to welcome Boys Hope Girls Hope back to the base, along with other schools and organizations. “We could form partnerships with students so that they understand who we are and what we do for our nation,” she said.

The students found the experience inspiring. Me’yani McDonald, who is currently studying business management at the University of Toledo, said, “It was amazing for me to see that I can still serve my country without having to be an engineer or fighter pilot.”

For Beezley, the biggest takeaway of the visit was learning about the many opportunities available to college students and young professionals through NAVAIR internships, mentorships, and career programs. “I look forward to supporting our students in applying to internships on base and in secondary locations,” she said.

Somerville encourages others who may be connected to student groups or schools and are interested in visiting NAVAIR to reach out to her or Command Operations Officer Shelley Wiltrout at “Let’s do more together,” she said. “It must be a group effort to make these kinds of commitments and investments in our youth, for it is simply the good work that will continue to make our nation great.”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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