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Trinity Blum has dreamed of working as a mechanical engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center since her freshman year of high school. 

“I love NASA’s mission of not only going into space but benefiting all of humanity,” Blum said. “They do lots of projects that are for Earth, whether it’s weather science or just helping people learn.”  

Blum, of North Ridgeville, made her dream a reality by her junior year of high school. At 16 years old Blum was accepted into an eight-week internship program, alongside another high schooler. The two contributed to an inventory management program, sorting through experiment hardware and entering it into a database.

“I have looked back on these last few years, and really appreciated how much I have accomplished,” she said. “It’s a lot. I’ve done a lot for myself and I’m really proud of that.” 

Among those accomplishments is graduating from three educational institutions this May: North Ridgeville High School with honors, the Lorain County Joint Vocational School, and Lorain County Community College. At LCCC, Blum will earn both an associate of arts and an associate of applied science. 

“After I realized NASA was my career goal, and learning how prestigious it is, I decided I had to juice up my resume a little, so I decided to take some College Credit Plus courses,” Blum said.  

What started as some College Credit Plus quickly became a full college course load. In fact, by her sophomore year, Blum began taking solely JVS and LCCC classes.  

“I just continued taking College Credit Plus classes because I liked the challenge,” she said. “And I knew it was going to help me reach my goals.” 

Trinity Blum 2

While Blum thrived in the more challenging LCCC setting, it took perseverance and a willingness to adapt, especially when her coursework shifted online during COVID. 

“It was pretty difficult to start, but once I got used to being responsible and really keeping track of my schedule, I got better at it,” she said. “And I really appreciate the wonderful tutoring center here at LCCC.” 

Beyond the college and JVS course load, Blum has participated in several engineering competitions, including Project Lead the Way through the JVS and LCCC’s College Tech Prep program. Many of her research topics focus on neurodiverse conditions, like ADHD, which Blum herself has. When she first began at LCCC, Blum used an accommodation plan provided by the college’s accessibility services. While she’s since gotten better at managing her ADHD and stayed focused, Blum enjoys combining her personal experiences with her mechanical engineering skillset to hopefully help others.  

“I think that it is important that someone who understands you is the one who is helping you,” she said. “I hope to make lives easier and hopefully better for those of us who may be at a bit of a disadvantage. But at the same time, I want other people to learn about neurodivergence and hopefully get rid of some of the negative perceptions of neurodivergent people.” 

In fall, Blum will transfer to Cleveland State University where she plans to earn her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. After talking with a CSU advisor, Blum learned she already has her first full year complete.  

“Because of my JVS and CCP experiences I am one year closer to becoming an engineer and will have to pay for one less year of college,” Blum said. “And I will be transferring to CSU with all the habits and skills that I need to continue to succeed.” 

And she’s that much closer to getting back to her dream workplace at NASA Glenn.  

“My love of challenges, problem solving, and building has led me to choose the path of engineering and NASA’s mission to benefit humanity, explore space, and make continuous discoveries is something I have always admired,” she said. “And I was able to meet people who worked there, make connections with engineers and other interns, and show what kind of person I am.”