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Share Your Story • Christian York • March 15, 2016

My Fascination!

Hello! My name is Christian, I am 20 years old, and I am currently a frustrated college student trying to find his calling. I grew up in a rural town where me and my mom would look into the night sky and gaze at stars. When she remarried we moved to a city, and I lost my view of the stars.

When I was a kid I was in the DISCOVERIES program at my school throughout elementary and middle school it was the advanced classes for elementary and middle school students. We got to take a lot of field trips mostly STEM based. I rekindled my love for space on one of these trips. We went to Sci-Port located in Shreveport, Louisiana, where we took a tour of the galaxy through an IMAX center and went on to learn about different scientific theories and principles. This time i did not let my fascination with space diminish and instead my 8th grade year I signed up for space camp.

Only 4 kids signed up and at first it was going to be cancelled because we could not afford the trip due to lack of signups. But I started a local fundraiser selling Smencils (scented pencils) and space themed pastries in the mornings, and at lunch at my school. The teachers and other 3 kids joined in and we raised the money for a 4 day trip to Huntsville, Alabama where we toured the facility, had a history lesson on space exploration, stayed in bunk beds, and got to do astronaut training!

Our second day was our mission briefing followed by intense training for 13 year old kids. I was the mission specialist and got to sit in their gravity chair that simulated weightlessness to an extent. We competed with 2 other teams that were there for the fastest, most methodical, well executed, and RIGHT mission completion. Team Kitty Hawk (my team) won. Our mission went 8 minutes over scheduled time, but our satellite repairs were flawless without a single bolt missing, and ample team communication.

I then moved to East Texas my sophomore year of high school, where i took up shop class. Instead of building tables or chairs for my projects, I could usually be found welding pieces here and there. One project I made was a rocket, using R-Candy as fuel and the other which I later unveiled to be a rover like robot. With the help of my chemistry teacher and the computer lab I built a working robot, although it did not get sold at auction, it was put in the local newspaper of my small town.

I would go on through high school to earn highest achievement awards for chemistry, biology, welding, wood shop, and physics, finishing 6th in my class. I am now still as fascinated with space as ever, and became a firefighter/paramedic. I am now trying to find my way through college for either an astrophysics degree, or mechanical and electrical engineering degree. I have not yet decided which I am going for and have a little over a year before declaring my major.

This is my life story so far and it has been filled to the brim with nothing but space exploration, stars, and planets. My grandparents who have raised me since my mom passed away, my sophomore year in high school, while they support my engineering fields they think it should be used for something more practical than space, but they cannot subdue my love for the known and unknown alike. I am working my way through college as a paramedic to reach these goals and do not intend to ever stop learning.

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