Junior Kaden Oquelí-White Selected for NASA-Sponsored Internship

Posted May 13, 2021 / Last updated June 22, 2021

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Managing editor for The Blue Jay Newspaper, poetry editor for Calliope, a performer for the Philelectic Society and the J-Troupe, vice president of the fencing club, a member of the creative writing club, a vocalist in the Mass choir, and a member of National Honor Society, Jesuit junior Kaden Oquelí-White—who is specifically interested in astrophysics—was selected for a NASA-sponsored internship through the prestigious STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES) program. This internship will be held at the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Space Research.

“I’ve always been interested in the most mysterious aspects of the cosmos and the universe,” said Oquelí-White. In the Blue Jay Newspaper, he has written about several of leading scientists’ most recent discoveries regarding black holes and related phenomena. Along with a few interested classmates, he is currently attempting to drum up interest in reviving Jesuit’s astronomy club.

Complementing his interest in astrophysics is a passion for engineering. “Someone has to actually build things to move society forward—that’s just as important as the theoretical side of things,” he points out. The opportunity to participate in the NASA-sponsored SEES program this summer is a perfect fit for his dual interest in scientific theory and implementation.

Oquelí-White was also recently named a Thrive Scholar and a QuestBridge College Prep Scholar, and additionally attained a “superscore” 36 on the ACT®. Local news outlets have taken notice of his many accomplishments and selection for this competitive program, and reporters visited Jesuit’s campus to profile him.

Oquelí-White attended Lake Castle North in Slidell before attending Jesuit and is the son of Christal White.

The ACT® consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, each scored on a scale of 1–36. A student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores.

Among U.S. high school graduates in 2019, just 4,879 out of nearly 1.8 million who took the ACT® earned a perfect score.