Paige Cutright (left) and Brooke Raabe (right) lead Aurora’s industry mentor program, which provides unique mentorship opportunities to students in the AIAA Diversity Scholar Program.

Aurora Flight Sciences, as part of Boeing, has been a long-time supporter of the AIAA Diversity Scholars Program. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) program provides unique opportunities for underrepresented university students with an interest in aerospace. Scholars are invited to attend an AIAA forum or event where they can learn about what it’s like to work in the industry, expand their network, and get advice from industry professionals.

Three years ago, a group of Aurora employees saw an opportunity to create an independent mentorship program that would provide additional resources and connections to the scholars. Aurora’s diversity scholar industry mentor program is a volunteer-based effort that connects AIAA Diversity Scholars with industry professionals.

“Aurora’s mentorship program is designed to help these students nurture the relationships they established at the AIAA conference and build on what they learned,” said Paige Cutright, Aurora engineer and program co-founder. “Once a student enrolls, we’ll match them with an industry mentor who provides advice and insight on academics, applying to jobs and internships, realizing career paths, and navigating the professional world as a new graduate.”

These mentorships are completely customizable based on each student’s needs. They last a minimum of a six months, with several spanning far beyond the initial six-month commitment. Mentors typically meet with their mentees on a monthly basis to provide guidance on career-related topics that can include creating a resume, honing interview skills, establishing a job research and engagement strategy, and identifying useful conferences to attend or organizations to join.

“Our program allows mentors to connect with students who are excited about the industry but may not have nailed down exactly what they want to do,” said Brooke Raabe, Aurora engineer and one of the program leaders.

“Through the mentorship, students not only learn more about the industry, but they’re given the tools they need to figure out exactly what path they want to pursue. It’s really rewarding to watch the students grow from a curious student to a promising young professional.”

For AIAA Diversity Scholars who are interested in learning more about Aurora’s mentorship program, visit Aurora in the Boeing booth #301 at AIAA SciTech 2023 from January 23 through January 27, 2023.


Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, advances the future of flight by developing and applying innovations across aircraft configurations, autonomous systems, propulsion technologies, and manufacturing processes. With a passionate and agile team, Aurora delivers solutions to its customers’ toughest challenges while meeting high standards of safety and quality. Learn more at

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Carmen Smith, Aurora Flight Sciences