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Illinois Teen Celebrated as 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Winner

4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Winner

Engineering is the backbone of everything we do here at Hughes – from connecting people to the internet with Hughesnet®, to providing in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity, to connecting thousands of enterprise and government sites around the world. Recognizing that the future of innovation depends on the technology leaders of tomorrow, Hughes, under our Hughesnet brand, proudly supports the National 4-H Council (4-H), America’s largest youth development organization, in promoting access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Together, 4-H and Hughesnet have launched several award-winning initiatives to help inspire and educate young people in STEM. But sometimes, the best inspiration comes from young people themselves – which is why Hughesnet sponsors the 4-H Youth In Action STEM Pillar Award. The Youth In Action awards recognize 4-Her’s making a difference in their communities across agriculture, civic engagement, healthy living and STEM fields, with Hughesnet a longstanding sponsor of the 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Award.

The Pillar Winners receive higher education scholarships; experience a year of celebrating their leadership; and act as the official 4-H youth spokesperson for their Pillar. They are recognized at the Annual National 4-H Council Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C. – near the Hughes headquarters in Germantown, Maryland. Because of the proximity, the Hughes team is able to celebrate and honor the STEM Pillar Winners in person and also welcome them to our campus – a prime example of STEM in action. 

After a few years of virtual events, we were excited to gather once again to honor the Youth in Action Award winners in person. At the event, Peter Gulla, senior vice president, had the honor of presenting the STEM Pillar Award to Dhruv Rebba the 2022 winner, as well as Aidan Spencer, the 2021 winner (who we had only met virtually!).

Aidan - 2021 4H Winner Accepting Award
Dhruv - 2022 4H Winner Accepting Award
2021 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Award Winner Aidan Spencer
2022 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Award Winner Dhruv Rebba


The day after the Legacy Awards, members of 4-H joined Dhruv and his family in visiting the Hughes headquarters in Maryland. There, they toured our manufacturing facility, learned about our always-on Network Operations Center, and met with Hughes engineers and leaders. Now a freshman in college, Dhruv’s passion for space and engineering was evident in the way he lit up when learning about the Hughes technology that enables internet access from space!

Dhruv and team touring Hughes manufacturing facility
Dhruv and Hughes President and CEO Pradman Kaul
Dhruv and parents with Hughes team
Dhruv and the team touring the Hughes
manufacturing facility
Dhruv and Hughes President and CEO
Pradman Kaul
Dhruv and his parents met with the
Hughes team