Support from Boeing Sets Aspiring Engineer Up for Success

At a time when many of the girls she grew up with were focused on makeup, Kaija Martin found herself more interested in science textbooks and her telescope.

Boeing Scholar Kaija Martin comes to Embry-Riddle with more than eight years of experience in robotics.
Boeing Scholar Kaija Martin comes to Embry-Riddle with more than eight years of experience in robotics. (Photo: Kaija Martin)

Raised in Buckeye, Arizona, Kaija Martin (‘25) was always drawn to STEM-related subjects. When she realized she could combine her experience in robotics with her passion for space exploration, the picture of her future career was crystal clear.

“At a young age, you have that desire to learn, discover and engage in the world around you,” she said. “I like to say that I’ve kept that as I’ve grown up.”

College is just a far-off dream for most middle school students, but eighth grade was when Martin started getting serious about choosing a school.

She fell in love with Embry-Riddle’s “community-like campus, prominent Aerospace Engineering program and hands-on opportunities” during a visit to the Prescott Campus in 2017. Martin recalls sitting in a Cessna cockpit on the flight line when she decided she would be an Eagle.

“I’m glad I toured when I did, because it helped my mentality of ‘this is the place I’m working towards’ throughout high school,” she said.

A prestigious scholarship through the Boeing Scholars program helped make Martin’s dream school a reality. With the support of The Boeing Company, she is on her way to earning her bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering.

“I don’t take the title lightly, because everything that being a Boeing Scholar entails brings me closer to my goals for the future,” Martin said.

So far, Martin is most enjoying projects like those in her Computer-Aided Conceptual Design of Aerospace Systems course. While it’s the kind of class that is tedious and requires grit, “the end result and what I come up with is the most satisfying factor,” she said.

With a master’s degree in mechanical engineering already on her radar, Martin knows exactly where she is headed. She’d like to work with satellite technology, rocketry and propulsion – ideally for The Boeing Company’s Defense, Space and Security division.

“I’m excited for what the future has to hold with Embry-Riddle, because it will be my home for the next four years.”