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The Next Generation of STEM Leaders Make Their Mark on DC


Engineering innovation runs deep in our veins at Hughes, with half of all employees holding an Engineering or Computer Science degree. STEM programs and access to educational resources are critical for cultivating the next generation of engineering leaders, both here at Hughes and around the world. 

Our longstanding support of National 4-H, America’s largest youth development organization, is just one way we are committed to developing future engineers – and last month our team had the pleasure of seeing these future STEM leaders in action not just once, but three times. 

Nicole Cash Visits Hughes Headquarters

Nicole Cash visits Hughes HQ


We welcomed 2023 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Award Winner Nicole Cash to the Hughes headquarters in Germantown, MD, where she met with members of the Hughesnet® team, saw our technology in action and got a tour of our state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC). 

Nicole’s involvement in 4-H equipped her with the confidence and skills to lead her robotics team to create an affordable, custom mobility device for a toddler out of a Power Wheels car. She then helped the team launch their own chapter of child mobility project GoBabyGo!, the first in the Midwest.

Youth in Action Winners Recognized in Washington, D.C.

Youth in Action winners on stage in Washington, D.C.


Nicole was in town from her native Minnesota to be honored alongside the other 2023 Youth in Action Pillar Award Winners in Washington, DC. As a Youth in Action Winner, she receives a $5,000 scholarship for higher education and serves as a national youth spokesperson for the year. The four winners were recognized for making a difference in their communities across agriculture, civic engagement, healthy living and STEM fields, with Hughesnet proudly sponsoring the STEM award. At the event, Peter Gulla, senior vice president, presented Nicole with her award (pictured above).

Cultivating a Culture of STEM at Ignite by 4-H

Archana Gharpuray at Ignite by 4-H


The Ignite by 4-H event draws thousands of teens to DC for four days packed with inspiring panels and workshop sessions. Archana Gharpuray, vice president of Engineering, participated in a Career Connections session, where she served as a mentor to an interdisciplinary team of young people working together to tackle a ‘Wicked Problem.’ This hands-on simulation provided an alternative to the more traditional career panel and offered a vehicle for collaboration among students with a variety of career interests. Archana reflected: “It was amazing to be part of a community of young people who are passionate about exploring the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Their curiosity, creativity and drive to make a difference in the world is something truly special.”

What a thrill to witness firsthand how STEM education and programming makes a difference in the lives of young people across the country. We’re proud to play a small part in empowering the next generation of engineers and STEM leaders, and we can’t wait to watch Nicole shine as she embarks on her year as the 2023 4-H Youth in Action STEM Pillar Award Winner.