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Gilberto Palacios-Perez - Rocket Scientist - East Los Angeles College

Gilberto Palacios-Perez grew-up in El Grullo, Jalisco, Mexico and moved to Los Angeles in late 1994 to pursued his passion - engineering. In 2004, Palacios-Perez transferred to East Los Angeles College in order to complete the necessary lower-division classes required to transfer to a four-year institution as an engineering major.

While at East Los Angeles College, his career to reach for the stars was shaped by the steadfast advice from Professor Jose C. Ramirez, who encouraged Palacios-Perez to work to achieve his educational goals, and provided guidance on how to become an engineer. Now Palacios-Perez is a propulsion engineer for United Launch Alliance in California.

"It truly is ‘rocket science’ and the education I received at East Los Angeles College was invaluable,” Palacios-Perez said.

Additionally, Palacios-Perez took advantage of the services that his community college offered to students such as the Mathematics, Engineering Science Achievement group, which helps students with tutoring in subjects such as math, physics and chemistry as well as orientation to transfer to a four-year university.

He also took the opportunity to participate in the Scholars Program that East Los Angeles College.

Palacios-Perez was accepted by the engineering department at University of Southern California and in 2011 earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. While attending USC, Palacios-Perez was accepted to participate in a summer internship at United Launch Alliance at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company launches the Atlas V and Delta IV rockets delivering critical satellites to space for the U.S. Department of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Since January 2012, Palacios-Perez has been living out his dream of launching rockets as a propulsion engineer at Space Launch Complex-6 preparing United Launch Alliance Delta IV rockets for important missions.

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