West Virginia native and former NASA engineer Homer Hickam, who serves on the board of Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, in conjunction with Adams Hallmark stores in West Virginia, has announced the 2022 winners of the H.M. “Mike” Adams Memorial Space Camp Scholarship.
Twelve-year-old Alexander Dennison from Exchange, WV, and 17-year old Joshua Byers from Weirton, WV, have been selected to attend Space Camp this summer at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Alexander, 12, will attend Aviation Challenge Mach II, and Joshua, 17, will attend Advanced Space Academy in summer 2022.
“There are several scholarships available for Space Camp, but none that is just for West Virginia kids,” says Homer, a proud West Virginian and New York Times bestselling author of ‘Rocket Boys.’
Homer approached the Adams Hallmark family with the idea of setting up a NASA Space Camp scholarship program for West Virginia students by donating a portion of the proceeds of sales of Hickam’s books during a series of books signings the week of the release of his new best-selling member “Don’t Blow Yourself Up”.
The concept was met with an enthusiastic response from Andrea Adams Underwood and Paul Adams, siblings who had recently taken over the business to assist their mother Charlotte after the passing of their dad and family patriarch, Mike Adams.
“Our dad Mike Adams demonstrated the best qualities of the children of the southern West Virginia coal camps and was neighborly, industrious, and always willing to help when he could,” recalls Andrea. “He would be proud that he, even though gone from us, can still help young West Virginians seek adventures and aspire to bring honor to our state.”
The scholarship was established in memory of Adams, who died in October 2021. Adams was known for his seven Adams Hallmark stores operating in West Virginia and Adams Printing and Supply, which opened in 1964. He served as recorder for the City of Milton and was a deacon and member of the choir at Milton Baptist Church.
The Adams family established the Space Camp scholarship to serve as an enduring memorial to their father’s love and compassion for others.