Mount Pleasant Magazine Sept/Oct 2022

36 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www.MountPl easantPodcas t . com From that point on, the disquisitive student who inquired about the uncharted territories and protocols for encountering potential extra-terrestrial life knew what he wanted. He wanted to explore and to lead. Nowicki, along with his parents and teachers, began to plot his course. He joined the JROTC at Wando High School, under the leadership of Major John Farese. It was Major Farese who became a mentor to Nowicki, eventually recommending him for the scholarship that would become his only after a thorough and competitive review. In order to beat out the hundreds upon hundreds of other applicants, Nowicki had to pass physical tests, present brilliant ACT scores and deliver an impressive interview before a panel of various representatives of the United States Airforce. By the end of the grueling process, he was one of 100 selected from across the nation and bound for the University of Alabama to major in Operations Management. “Whatever I do, I want to lead a group. I want to make things better,” offered Nowicki. It is amazing that the thirst for leadership—and at the military level— was born from a single opportunity. A lot of kids transferring to new schools in the middle of adolescence might not get that time to thrive like Nowicki did. However, because of teachers looking to nurture new students, an astronaut willing to take the time to speak to children and a community ready to present its youth with opportunity, a life was changed. Potentially, many lives were changed. Nowicki is reaching for the stars, quite literally, because he was given a chance. He then met that chance with effort, hard work and citizenship. The recipe came together and made something beautiful: inspiration that became fruition. Though Nowicki is just starting college, he has high aspirations for the future. Exploring space is at the top of that list. What used to be reserved for the smallest handful of trained engineers is now being privatized and militarized. Nowicki expects to spend at least four years serving in the air force, then the sky is not even the limit. “Exploration is human nature. Space is becoming more available, and I would love to be a part of that. That’s where the future is going. If I could be one of the first people on Mars or one of the first to just do something never done before, that would be great.” Nowicki made it clear that although he has passion for the expeditions, he wants to serve humanity in every move he makes. He wants to give back what was given to him and then some. He is proof that community matters and that taking time to make a child feel special for a moment matters. He was given time to ask one question on a fall morning half a decade ago, and it has made all the difference. Nowi ck i commun i cat i ng wi th as t ronaut at La i ng Mi ddl e i n 2017 . feature Photo prov i ded. Comfortable, convenient dental care with the latest technology. 145 River Landing Dr., Suite 102 Daniel Island, SC 29492 200 Brighton Park Blvd., Suite A Summerville, SC 29483 General Dentistry Cosmetic Dentistry Implants Same Day Crowns Invisalign Botox & Filler Sleep Apnea TMJ & Headaches ...and much more! Accepting new patients! Call, text or visit our website to make an appointment (843) 242-0645 FREE Sonicare toothbrushes to new patients! *show proof of ad