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Space Camp Alumna Schelly Corry Takes On New Challenge at U.S. Space & Rocket Center

For Schelly Corry (nee Finch), science was always something that captured her interest, but attending Space Camp in 1988 was what gave her the realization that it was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

“I left the program with the realization that I can do science… I am going to do science.”, she said of her time at camp.

Arriving at Space Camp was no small feat however, Schelly worked for two years to save money to pay for her trip to Space Camp and appreciated every moment at Space Academy Level II. She budgeted the details for her trip and even saved money to bring home souvenirs for her family members. To current trainees today she recommended, “Don’t take it for granted. Be in the moment. It’s a life changing experience.”

After her time at camp, Schelly went on to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biology and Education, and then went on to earn her graduate degree in Free Choice Learning, with a special focus on Museum Studies and Natural Resources. During her time at school, she was able to put her passion for science into action by helping farmers in Bangladesh have more profitable crops that they could sustain their families on and build a better future for themselves.

This program as a college student helped her to see – science can change lives.

After graduating from college, she has worked at educational museums, including Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Cook Museum of Natural Science in Decatur, Alabama. As of October 1, 2019, Ms. Corry is the Vice President of Space Center, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, thus bringing her back to where her path of science was solidified.

Of the exhibits at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Wernher Von Braun’s office is one of her favorites that leaves a powerful impression. Standing in the presence of where such vision and intelligence had come out of that time makes you appreciate the magnitude of everything that came out of that office.

“There’s nothing like seeing the real thing in a museum to make a young person reflect.”

When she was younger, she distinctly remembers standing in from the Apollo 16 exhibit at the U.S Space & Rocket Center and looking at it in awe of what achievements had been made by those scientists and explorers before her. It’s only fitting, that she would now be back at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, home of Space Camp, to help inspire the next generation of explorers and dreamers.

And her favorite quote? It sums up her determination to enact positive change on the world and leave it better than she found it.

“A Challenge…

to lead instead of being led,

to participate instead of watching,

to act…instead of waiting with idle hands.”

-Paul Petzoldt – Climbed the Grand Teton at the age of 16, Founder of National Outdoor Leadership School


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