West Morris H.S. Grad Ager Charts Career Path Early

Wesleyan University rising sophomore is getting valued career skills this summer 

 

MENDHAM –    Some folks know from an early age just what they want to do with their lives. 

Some too, feel it as early as adolescence and yes, for some, even before that.

For Gabriella Ager of Mendham, the West Morris Mendham High School graduate who 

attends prestigious Wesleyan University in New England, things crystallized as her freshman year 

of college drew to a close.   Ager sorted out that she did not want to pursue Law, 

Communications or Medicine but wanted to put her Computer Science talent to work.  As 

early as her freshman year summer, she realized this – at a  time when many college students are 

still working regular summer jobs.

There’s quite a perk to all this too.  

Two big perks even.

First, Ager will be apart of the performance analysis branch at Picatinny Arsenal in northern Morris 

County through the distinguished Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).  The AEOP 

internship with Picatinny, sponsored by the United States Army where the rising sophomore will 

obtain the right skills for a future in STEM research. 

Ager was also awarded a SMART Scholarship, which stands for Scholarship-for-Service Program. 

It is financed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) as a workforce development program for 

some of the country’s top young STEM minds. 

Ager is guaranteed employment with the Defense Department after the program 

concludes, which really is almost any college student’s and proud parent’s dream.  

What really provided her with inspiration for these opportunities came in the way of a Data 

Analytics class. The class sparked quite an interest in cultivating her dreams for a career in 

defending national security.

The benefits of the AEOP program are numerous.  

Students will be able to apply classroom knowledge by immersion researching STEM topics.   They 

get to use some of the most technological equipment in laboratories while gaining access from 

mentors such as scientists and engineers.  

The opportunity to grow one’s network by learning from scientists, engineers and practitioners is 

readily available while participants get to etch their spot in history by working on some complex and 

critical matters to the security of the country, under the tutelage of these professionals

Webinars and a virtual office students can visit to interact with Near Peer Mentors, provide

ongoing support during their stint in the program while they work toward earning an educational 

stipend at the end of the journey.  

Recipients of the SMART Scholarship get full tuition, annual stipends and again, are guaranteed a 

job with the DOD after college. The goal of the SMART program is to construct future leaders in 24 

STEM disciplines. 

For the program utilizes 200 of its DOD facilities as leaders of innovation in cyberspace, 5G, 

biotechnology, artificial intelligence, autonomy and other technological areas.

For now, Gabriella is happy to be working alongside DEVCOM engineers while staying close to 

home.

It may seem like a lot of work now but the dividends of her choices early on should reap her some 

big career rewards later.

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