By Joel Hillan

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The Denver Scholarship Foundation works with Denver Public Schools students to get them into and through college and — in a world that’s all about who you know — they help match students with mentors to make valuable connections, leading them to a brighter future. Mentors were matched Thursday at Ball Corporation.

Shannon Peterson is a manufacturing engineer at Ball Aerospace and is a mentor.

“I build the brains of the satellite, all the circuits, all the circuitry that goes into the satellite to make that work, that’s what I make,” she said. “I knew space was cool and I believed in aliens, so I was like, ‘space is where it’s at.”

She was paired with Danielle Erickson, a junior at Colorado School of Mines.

“With chemical engineering it’s, well, here’s the product that we want, how do we get there? How do we backtrack our way to start from the beginning to get to that final product and I think that’s like a big puzzle,” said Danielle.

For the past two summers the Denver School of the Arts graduate has been performing at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue.

“I’ve been continuing to do it just for the actual paycheck, which is weird, I never thought I would say that about theater, but that’s partially how I pay for school.”

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She is excited to make the connection and learn from her mentor.

“Engineering is not just one basic thing, is an entire field, and once you find something that you love and that you want to work in you can change the world,” said Shannon.

Shannon is Native American and grew up on the Navajo reservation. She says she went from a world with no electricity and running water to now leading the frontier of the latest technology. She hopes to be able to share that passion for a limitless future with Danielle.

(CBS)

“I want her to get out of it that she’s strong, and that she can do whatever she wants to do as long as she puts her mind to it,” Shannon said.

Joel Hillan

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