Galactic Unite awards scholarships during COVID-19

Students from NMSU visit Spaceport America in February 2020
Galactic Unite
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
19 May 2020

Galactic Unite has awarded 12 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in aerospace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as funding, the students will be mentored by employees from Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.

Joshua Elmer received the Galactic Unite Jones’ Scholarship during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This scholarship means I get to continue studying what I’m most passionate about, in the school I’m proud to be a part of, while also helping to take a significant burden off my family,” said Joshua. “The opportunity to work with a mentor and learn from someone who has already been where I’m going is also fantastic. I’m grateful for the doors this scholarship will open, and for the opportunities awaiting me and my family on the other side which might not have been possible otherwise.”

Galactic Unite was born out of a unique collaboration between Virgin Galactic and Virgin Unite. It aims to drive positive change for young people by working to ensure future generations are equipped to apply the space perspective to Earth’s greatest challenges. They seek to inspire the next generation of engineers, pilots and rocket scientists to pursue careers in the space industry.

Virgin Galactic launched a global scholarship program in 2012, focused on promoting diversity in STEM and space education. Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts have donated $1 million for scholarships, which have been distributed to 93 students across the world.

Four former Galactic Unite scholarship recipients are now full-time employees at Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company or Virgin Orbit. Some of those now mentor students, offering the same support they received as part of the program.

In 2019, Virgin Galactic partnered with New Mexico State University, the university local to Virgin Galactic’s commercial headquarters, The Gateway to Space at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Through this relationship, Galactic Unite launched a scholarship program which is currently supporting 11 students pursuing space-focused STEM majors at the university.

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo recently completed its first test flight from Spaceport America. Head over to Virgin Galactic to find out more.