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EnCorps Fellows Inspire Students

Meet the EnCorps Fellow Behind the Film

Julian Lewis
EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellow – 2015 Cohort

Former Director, U-2 Operations
Aerospace Engineering Teacher, STEM Academy of Hollywood

“What’s going to be your legacy?”

Long gone are Julian Lewis’ leisurely days on the golf course, although he still gets in a round in the mornings before heading in to STEM Academy of Hollywood, where he teaches aerospace engineering. A former Lockheed Martin aerospace engineer of 34 years, Lewis is using his industry experience to inspire students.

Walk into Lewis’ classroom and you notice posters and photos of aircraft covering the walls, drones sit in a corner, while model airplanes and a wind tunnel are center-stage. He begins his class with a technique he used with his team in industry called “plain talk” where students discuss current events. Lewis teaches both theory and practice.

It is clear he has inspired an interest in engineering and aerospace in his students. One student shared, “I never really knew what was out there, in terms of the field. He tells us about how he got there and I can see myself doing that a few years from now.”

Lewis grew up in the South Bronx and was inspired by an eighth grade teacher who was a pilot. He says that the satisfaction of working on amazing aircraft equals the satisfaction he gets from watching his students become engaged in aerospace.

“At the end of the day, what’s going to be your legacy? What have you impacted? As I share my experience, they are realizing I too can do that. They will be better individuals because I am here.”

Meet the EnCorps Fellow Behind the Film

Krisztina Hagey
EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellow – 2013 Cohort

Former Architect and Urban Planner
Math and Engineering Teacher, Hoover High School

“My teachers cared, they were always there to help”

Krisztina Hagey’s journey into teaching began when her daughter was in middle school and she realized that students don’t like math. Having immigrated from Hungary, her educational background was quite different than that of U.S. students. Hagey became an architect and urban planner shortly after earning her degrees in Hungary.

Hagey’s classroom buzzes with students chattering about math and their upcoming final exams. Students are excited about playing an online math competition.

She is revealing to students the everyday and workforce applications of math. One of Hagey’s students says, “She tells stories about what she used to do and how it applies with architecture and math to engage us more.”

Now in her fifth year teaching, Hagey serves as a teacher-leader at the school level and with EnCorps. She has hosted a student teacher in her classroom and facilitated EnCorps professional development sessions for new Fellows.

“They are always surprised when I say, I used to be an architect or an engineer.”

Meet EnCorps STEM Teaching Fellows


Tyran Richards
Pharmaceutical Chemist

“My greatest hope is that my students realize their worth and importance and grasp the fact that education is an important part of their future. It will lead them to opportunities that they wouldn’t have without it. I want them to know that they are capable of success no matter their background or what anyone else may have told them. I want them to realize that learning is fun. I want them to know that I am on their side.”


Michael Erickson

“To influence a student’s career and life is amazing… I realize my actions have a big impact on whether and how much they learn… It’s great actually seeing them learn. I look back and feel that my previous careers were nothing but a stepping stone to my ultimate career — teaching!”


Jamie Bascom

“To a high school student who asks me why science would be useful in their future, I would say: learning science teaches you how to be a critical and creative thinker; these are skills that will help you in any field of your choosing.”

Brian Woods

“I think I wanted to give something back to the community. I wanted to see how much difference I could make. Perhaps I am most helpful by demonstrating in class this training actually leads to a useful and fulfilling career.”

Amber Zertuche
Metrologist Engineer

“I look into their eyes, I say their name, I shake hands, and I say ‘Welcome to the classroom’ with each child every morning… I am a model for my students. This is an important part of being a leader.”

Wayne Wong
Aerospace Engineer

“I grew up in a very low income neighborhood and went to a high needs school. I know how difficult it is break out of poverty. I want to change that and help young people less fortunate to see the potential in themselves and break out.”


David Lai
Computer Programmer

“I think I wanted to give something back to the community. I wanted to see how much difference I could make. Perhaps I am most helpful by demonstrating in class this training actually leads to a useful and fulfilling career.”

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Nicole Bottomley
Research Scientist

“I grew up in a small rural community in Northern California. My high school was diverse and under-resourced. My science teachers showed me opportunities and encouraged me to pursue my dream of one day curing cancer.”

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Laurie Toyama
Software Engineer

“We need to give students exposure to a wider work world and more possibilities for them to explore. Teachers are an avenue for this exposure and exploration. It’s rewarding to see the lightbulb go on in my students.”

“It’s been a privilege of mine to have many opportunities in life. I want to be a teacher to give kids access to all I’ve seen and done.”

EnCorps StoryCorps Podcast

Meet David Bartholomew: former IT professional turned high school math teacher. David speaks of his passion, why he chose teaching and a student that inspires him.

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