A student from Al Majd International School, Damman, was one of 304 students from 38 countries chosen by Honeywell (NYSE: HON) to participate in the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy (HLCA) this year. The week long-leadership program took place at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama.
Fahmeed Rajput, 17, was the first student from Saudi Arabia to be awarded an HCLA scholarship and he was joined by high schoolers from all over the U.S., China, UK and Mexico.
HLCA uses interactive technology, science-oriented workshops and team exercises to teach children of Honeywell employees, between the ages of 16-18, leadership skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Activities are delivered in fun and innovative ways that bring STEM studies to life. The program is designed to build students’ leadership skills and develop their capacities through hands-on challenges.
During the program, the students met with scientists, engineers and former astronauts who reinforced core leadership competencies and shared their first-hand professional experiences. In addition, Fahmeed and his group took part in team-building challenges, such as designing, building and testing their own rockets; participating in simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions and a moon walk; and conducting DNA extraction experiments on fruit.
“It was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Academy, it exceeded my expectations. It was definitely a lot different from any experience you get in high school,” said Fahmeed “To get out in the world and be aware of the people around you, beyond your high school, it’s a good experience to have. Though I want to be an economist, this program has strengthened my leadership skills and broadened my capabilities. The highlight for me was doing our mission in the Space Shuttle simulator. I was chosen as the pilot and had to lead the mission to space and back again. This, and many of the other activities, focused on key competencies such as purposeful leadership, effective communication, team trust and cohesion. I am sure the skills acquired at the Academy will help me throughout my career,” he added.
Since its launch in 2010, Honeywell, in partnership with the USSRC, has awarded more than 1156 scholarships to students. Scholarships are granted after a rigorous application and review processes based on academic achievement and community involvement. Financial contributions from Honeywell Hometown Solutions and Honeywell employees help fund the scholarships, including tuition, meals, accommodations and program materials.
“Our goal is to continue to develop a new generation of leaders, engineers, and scientists who can address the challenges of tomorrow,” said Tom Buckmaster, president, Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s global corporate citizenship initiative. “Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy is a holistic program that uses a variety of teaching methods to open students’ minds to the many possibilities for rewarding careers,” he added.
“Honeywell’s investment in this innovative global youth leadership training reflects their enormous commitment to improving the quality of life in communities across the world. These youth leaders are the problem solvers of the future, at home, at work and in our continuing journey into space,” said Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director, USSRC.