In a year and a half, Cyrus Shy's life took a 180-degree turn after enrolling and completing the program at San Jacinto College's EDGE Center for workforce development.
"I've been interested in STEM for a long time," Shy said. "In high school I competed in robotics, but I wasn't sure what field of study I would end up working in."
After attending another institution and working as a physical therapist, Shy found himself wanting to break into the aerospace field but unsure how to proceed.
"My brother was working at NASA when he heard about the new EDGE Center at San Jac," said Shy. "I immediately began to look into the program to see what it was all about."
After two months in the composite technician track, Shy was recommended for an internship with a NASA partner by Dr. Janis Fowler, director, continuing and professional development aerospace education and workforce development.
"I had just started the program, so I didn't think I had what they were looking for, but I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity," Shy said. "I knew Dr. Fowler wouldn't recommend me for something I wasn't capable of."
In September 2020, Shy started working as an intern with Intuitive Machines, the company responsible for developing the lunar lander. Ultimately, Shy's internship turned into a full-time position as a composite technician after he earned his certificate.
As part of the manufacturing and robotics team for Intuitive Machine's lunar lander, Shy sees history in the making every day.
"The impact this program and Intuitive Machines has had on my life has been overwhelmingly incredible," said Shy. "It has changed the trajectory of my life. I work for a company that cares about each other and works toward a common goal."
For now, Shy is continuing his education at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering.
"One thing I've realized is that you have to take advantage and be grateful for every opportunity you can get," Shy said. "Sort bolts. Do the work. You can grow so much and learn the hands-on."
To learn more, visit sanjac.edu/edge-center-aerospace.