Rocket Science: Jesus Omar Abrego - Valley Morning Star : Slice Of Life

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Rocket Science: Jesus Omar Abrego

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Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:00 am

When he was a child, Jesus Omar Abrego told people that he was going to the moon.

This summer, as a member of a NASA internship program, he got a bit closer.

Earlier this month, Abrego, 19, finished his program where he was working at Moffett Field, Calif.

“I entered not knowing what I was going to do,” Abrego confessed. “I had never even had a job.”

A student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Abrego enrolled in the research internship program as part of a requirement for a scholarship he has. Abrego is a 2006 graduate of San Benito High School and is a sophomore at UTSA, studying mathematics.

During Abrego’s first visit to a NASA base, he worked on cyclic voltammetry, an electromechanical measurement. He said his job was to test components found in NASA missions.

“I knew I was going to find myself working real hard,” he said. “There wasn’t a moment where I had nothing to do. There wasn’t a moment where I was bored.”

The internship showed Abrego what a career in science would be like, he said. Next year, Abrego said it’s possible for him to return to his NASA internship and continue where he left off. By then, a NASA group will have returned to California from a mission. Abrego said he’ll be able to conduct different studies and gather data on components brought back from the mission.

“That will be pretty exciting,” he said.

Aside from his studies, Abrego said he’s interested in music, including writing.

“I like to sing,” he said. “I’m not the best singer, but I pretend I am.”

While living with an aunt in California, Abrego “lived the California life.” He traveled to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz.

“I pretty much took care of everything possible that I could over the weekends,” he said.

As a student at SBHS, Abrego said that after he graduated, he left a lot of high expectations behind from his teachers.

“I didn’t want to let anybody down,” he said.

Abrego said he also credits his success to his parents. As a child he used to watch sci-fi films with his father.

“That definitely affected me,” he said.

As for his mother: “She’s not going to let me settle for anything.”

Abrego said he isn’t sure of what he wants in the future, but for now, he’s keeping his plans a secret.

“I have a big dream,” he said.

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