DAHLGREN, Va. -- When you ask Feline Agwumezie how she is doing, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) electrical engineer often responds by saying, “blessed and highly favored.”
Passionate about working with youth, she considers it a blessing to volunteer her time as a role model and mentor, while making a positive impact on them with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Agwumezie – one of five NSWCDD employees who received the Distinguished Community Service Award at the command’s Honorary Awards Ceremony in May 2019 – was recognized for her contribution to the community through volunteer service.
“Her work with children and the less fortunate serves as an example of volunteerism and the spirit that embodies NSWCDD’s commitment to the community,” cites the award.
The instinct for helping others came naturally to Agwumezie.
“Ever since I was a child, I had this gift of wanting to nurture everyone and everything, from my little siblings and cousins to animals and insects,” she said.
The Maryland native’s gift for volunteerism manifested when she was in middle school, and volunteered with her mother, a registered nurse. During summer breaks, she joined her mother at the nursing home and assisted with activities for senior citizens including exercise, playing bingo, listening to their childhood stories, and reorganizing the dedicated crafts room.
Agwumezie’s world viewpoint is: “To give back so others might have hope.”
Therefore, she works toward ensuring “the next generation of youth will have the same opportunities to achieve their academic and professional dreams.”
In doing so, she’s involved in So Others Might Eat (SOME), in which she partners with the Holy Family Knights of Columbus to feed “people experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty,” according to the SOME website at https://www.some.org/
She is a member of the Blacks in Government NSWCDD Chapter and the National Society of Black Engineers Potomac River Professionals Chapter.
At church, Little Zion Baptist Church in Oak Grove, she is a youth ministry leader who helps to educate children about having strong faith in Jesus Christ.
Agwumezie’s innate desire to serve blossomed from childhood into her professional career at NSWCDD – and involvement with STEM.
At NSWCDD, she works on guided projectile programs in the Precision and Advanced Munitions Branch of the Gun and Electric Systems Department. In 2016, she assisted with STEM activities at the NSWCDD STEM Academy – teaching teamwork, problem solving, and critical thinking. Activities included learning buoyancy through foil boats and BBs, M&M statistics, strength testing with balsa wood towers, chemical biological warfare using test tubes to illustrate how viruses spread, and LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT involving using sensors and computer programming to complete missions.
During a Naval Support Facility Dahlgren Bring Your Child to Work Day, she used a balloon demonstration to teach students how air pressure works.
“They were truly fascinated,” she exclaimed.
At Locust Grove Middle School in Orange County, she mentored students who made art robots and DC motors, launched water-fed bottle rockets, measured the density of their own baked bread, and learned how to make a Piezzo alarm.
As a volunteer, she facilitated Snap Circuits demonstrations at the First Annual Dahlgren School STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Night. At the second annual event, she and the science teachers facilitated the Art Robot Workshop in which students made a simple robot using a simple motor, AA batteries with a switch, a plastic cup, and markers.
Agwumezie and fellow NSWCDD colleagues and NSBE PRP joined in March 2019 to speak to fourth and fifth grade students at the Hampton Oaks Elementary School Career Café about their careers and the importance of STEM – in all facets of life.
Whether it’s volunteering time to mentor a child or serving another in need, the NSWCDD Distinguished Community Service Award recipient is dedicated to making the world a better place – one person at a time.
“I love to give back because I get pleasure from knowing that I served someone and that I was able to put a smile on their face to help them take their minds off their circumstances, even if it is just for a moment,” she said.