SAIC Continues Legacy of Mentorship, Scholarship Support for Tomorrow's Space Leaders

SAIC Continues Legacy of Mentorship, Scholarship Support for Tomorrow's Space Leaders

Partnering with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to invest in the future of STEM and space exploration

Calendar icon 08-23-2022
Profile photo David Ray
Category icon CITIZENSHIP

Key Takeaways:

  • David Ray's childhood fascination with space led to a successful career as the senior VP of SAIC's space business unit, emphasizing the power of personal curiosity in shaping professional paths.
  • SAIC's collaboration with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation aims to inspire students in STEM fields, contributing to America's technological leadership and promoting the exploration of space through educational initiatives and partnerships.
  • Through scholarships and educational support, SAIC and ASF are investing in talented STEM students, ensuring the continuation of pioneering advancements in fields like science, engineering, and space exploration.




As a youngster, I looked up at the sky and wished I could take a trip to the moon. I had so many questions surrounding the mysteries of space, which many people couldn't answer. Fast forward to now, as the senior vice president of SAIC's space business unit, I get to lead some of the sharpest space professionals, as they seek to understand the extraterrestrial landscape. My curiosity led to a career in space exploration, and now I am beyond proud to be part of an organization that believes in encouraging careers in space for students. 

Encouraging future leaders in space exploration 

The exploration and use of space rely on creating highways, byways and infrastructure to operate safely and effectively. Efforts like managing space objects and traffic encourage our nation to think big and find ways to increase the access and utility of this frontier. This is the time to encourage and embolden future leaders. 

SAIC is thrilled to continue its ongoing partnership with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). ASF's mission is to support students pursuing careers in STEM-related fields that are essential to our understanding of the Earth and our universe. I believe that the partnership between SAIC and ASF helps the U.S. maintain its position as a leader in technology and innovation. 

This week, we partnered with ASF to host an interactive panel discussion to encourage career development in STEM. Joined by five of my industry colleagues, we shared our journeys and experiences in the business of space. Our intention was to motivate students to chase after careers that may seem out of reach. 

Investing in our future

Alongside ASF, we continue to invest in the education of today's best and brightest in STEM — all while honoring the legacy of the nation's pioneering astronauts. 

In 2022, ASF and its partners provided 68 scholarships to rising college juniors and seniors across the nation. As a partner organization, SAIC awarded eight of those scholarships to students attending Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Univ. of Virginia, Morgan State, Univ. of Southern California, Univ. of Central Florida and Johns Hopkins Univ. 

I look forward to seeing what the future holds for these promising young scientists, mathematicians, technologists, engineers and astronauts. I expect nothing short of stellar impacts as a result. 


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