Representatives from Navy Recruiting Command  (NRC) highlighted the technical professions available in the Navy at the 2016 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) in Anaheim, Calif., Oct. 5-9.


HENAAC is an annual conference hosted by Great Minds in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), an organization dedicated to keeping America technologically strong by promoting STEM, especially in underserved communities.


The conference kicked off with two Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Training seminars taught by Navy personnel. Lean Six Sigma is a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste such as motion, inventory and over production.


“The participants were very enthusiastic,” said Lt. Jonathon Holton, instructor for the LSS program. “The key, like any presentation, is to keep people engaged through enthusiasm and team exercises, which were definitely utilized in the course.  In fact, I had countless students the next day asking me at the Navy booth of how to get other Navy LSS courses to their universities and their local diversity group chapter.”
Following the training seminars, the orientation and draft for the HENAAC College Bowl began.


The College Bowl gathers college freshmen, sophomores and juniors to participate in team-based competition to hone leadership skills and earn scholarships.  Students in the top three teams earn scholarship awards and the winning organization takes home a trophy.


“The College Bowl was very exciting for me,” said Caryn De La Cruz, student at College of the Canyons. “Being able to talk to the professionals and get their guidance was truly rewarding. I’m glad I got the Navy as my coaches because they are such a technology driven branch and STEM is such an impactful part of what they do.”
Teams created for the College Bowl were interviewed by a panel of judges and were presented a challenge to complete. Representatives from Navy recruiting served as coaches and judges for the event.


“It was a great experience,” said Lt. Joel Peña, coach for the Navy’s College Bowl team. “An incredible two days, of high intensity competition, where the coaches were able to mentor and share valuable lesson in the area of communication, networking and teamwork with the students.”


After the first half of the College Bowl, various Navy representatives attended the National Defense Awards Dinner where the Navy handed out awards and scholarships to young men and women who have chosen a STEM career path while dedicating themselves to a life of military service.


The second day of events began with the second half of the College Bowls and a quick networking event for the participants and coaches.


Later on in the evening was the HENAAC Awards Show, a formal event, where inspirational award winners were recognized and had an opportunity to share their experience at the event and discuss what they had learned.


“I was extremely impressed by the caliber of students at the event,” said Peña. “It was great to see how the students improved throughout the competition.”


The final day of the conference wrapped up with a career fair. Navy recruiting had booths set up at the convention center where students could talk to recruiters and learn about the STEM related jobs that the Navy has to offer.


The overall mission of NRC is to acquire America's best talent for the Navy by accessing high quality Sailors and officers and achieve all recruiting goals.


For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, visit us on the web,; on our Youtube channel, U.S. Navy Recruiter; on Facebook,; and on Twitter, @usnavyrecruiter.

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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)