MDC Hialeah Campus Student Begins Coveted Internship with NASA

Miami, August 26, 2020 – This week, Miami Dade College (MDC) Hialeah Campus student Luis Leon began a fall internship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at the Ames Research Center located in the heart of Silicon Valley in California.

Born in Ecuador, Leon, 45, has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer and help desk specialist. He earned an associate degree in information technology from MDC last year and is on a path to complete his bachelor’s degree next year.

“Imagine the opportunity at my age to be surrounded by smart young people and feel part of something really important,” Leon said. “I will be the first to have a college degree in my family. They are really proud of me, and more importantly, my nephews have me as an example of what to do.”

Leon was originally selected for a rover competition at Kennedy Space Center in March, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He then applied for the NASA program and was accepted for the 16-week internship, where he will provide ongoing support and maintenance of the high-performance networks that enable global access for the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) division, which enables high end computing resources, as well as modeling and simulation methods. His duties will include basic network communications training, working with NAS users to optimize data transfers, evaluation of network management software, and assisting with response to NAS networking trouble tickets.

“My oldest brother used to work as a senior network administrator, but like me, he never studied this field,” Leon said. “I convinced him to start his studies next year. We are thinking to probably build an outsourcing company with my other siblings and brother-in-law. But, if NASA offers me other opportunities, I will probably stay for a few seasons with them.”

For more information about the NASA program, visit