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Jenn Bernhardt

October Sky

By: Jenn Bernhardt
College Now Course - SCI 1

In the small town of Coalwood, West Virginia, there weren't many options concerning your future. In fact, there were only two. If you were lucky, you would go to collage on a football scholarship, or you would end up working in the coal mines for the rest of your life. But, Homer Hickam decided to do things a little differently.

Homer Hickam was an average boy. He went to high school, but didn't play any sports. His brother, on the other hand, was an all-star football player. Homer's father, Jake Hickam, was the Superintendent of the coal mine. He wanted nothing more than for Homer to follow in his footsteps and take over when he retired. Home vowed he would never work in the mine.

Inspired by the launch of the Russian satellite, Sputnik, and the famous Dr. Verner Von Braun, Homer and his three friends, Quentin, Roy Lee, and O'Dell, built their own little version of Cape Canaveral along with the rockets. But, there was always something standing in the way of their success. The "Rocket Boys" were arrested after being blamed for a fire, which was supposedly started by one of their rockets, a few miles away from their launch site. Then, after Homer's father was injured in a mining accident, Homer was forced to quite school and work in the mine to earn money.

After proving their innocence for the fire using simple math theories, Homer quits the mine and returns to school. With Ms. Riley's support, the boys enter in the State Science Fair and qualify for nationals. Because of their accomplishment, they gain the town's support. Homer goes to the National Science Fair and comes back with first place, as well as a college scholarship.

Later, Homer fulfills his dream of becoming a rocket engineer for NASA. He proved to everyone that dreams can come true, and all it took was a little inspiration and perseverance. As long as you have those, anything is possible.