Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC), Rear Adm. Jeff Hughes, attended the “Becoming Everything You Are” (BEYA), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Conference, Feb. 19-20 at the Philadelphia Marriott.

Hughes highlighted his visit on the first day by talking to high-school STEM students during a 2-hour evening of round-table, group-mentoring sessions.  Approximately 300 students from Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Virginia sat down with around 150 Department of Defense professionals, retirees, and flag officers.

The BEYA STEM Conference has a history dating back 30 years, but this time around was the first of its kind for Hughes, who assumed his post at NRC about five months ago. 

“We have a wonderful past history with BEYA,” said Hughes.  “The conference gives us a great opportunity to meet talented students that are pursuing careers in a STEM field, and it allows us to give them some exposure to what the Navy offers in our enlisted and officer programs.”

For the mentoring sessions, mentors and students broke up into different groups at various conference rooms.  Mentors sat at tables with students to talk about themselves, their career paths and goals, and offer advice for the future.

“This particular mentoring event gives us an opportunity to have a great conversation with young people who are trying to figure out what they’re going to do with their lives,” said Hughes.  “All the people here have an interest in STEM, so with that as a foundation, we can help them make decisions to chart a path for their future in a STEM related career.”

Hughes also explained how engaging with the public’s youth during organized events like BEYA is of utmost importance for NRC’s recruiting efforts.

“Conferences like this are absolutely critical,” said Hughes.  “NRC will always have a large presence because it allows us to penetrate broader markets of people who have the skill sets and exhibit the level of quality we’re looking for to operate and maintain complex systems in the Navy of the future.”


The BEYA STEM Conference also featured high school and college career fairs with Navy recruiting booths and an annual award gala honoring both active and retired African American leaders in the U.S. Armed Forces and Senior Executive Services.

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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)