As an eight-year-old, Monica Martin Malagon sat with her dad on the porch of her home in Renton. Together they would watch airplanes fly in and out of the nearby airport. She felt a sense of calm and peace watching planes fly. An interest in aerospace was born.

Fast forward to her junior year at Lindbergh High School, and Monica signed up for Core Plus Aerospace. At first, she was unsure about the program. It was unlike anything she had taken before, but the idea of hands-on-learning intrigued her.

“I was nervous because I didn’t have any experience with tools,” Monica said. “I considered switching out, but then I talked to my teacher, Mr. Nelson. He made sure I was comfortable. Core Plus Aerospace was the best decision I ever made.”

Monica’s Core Plus Aerospace class taught her not only engineering and manufacturing skills, but also life skills, including how to work on her own and as part of a team.

“Core Plus Aerospace prepared me for life after high school and makes me ready to join the workforce,” Monica said.

Mr. Nelson encouraged Monica to apply for the Core Plus Aerospace Internship, where she worked closely with a mentor and other interns and built her network.

Monica feels Core Plus Aerospace has given her a clear advantage ahead of people her age. She’s looking forward to taking the next steps to explore the endless possibilities a career in the manufacturing industry offers.