A Morgantown girl's dreams of space will lead her to on an international study.
This summer, Jenna Klemkowsky will be one of thirteen Americans selected to study abroad with some of the top physics minds in the world when she travels to the Birmingham School of Physics and Astronomy in Birmingham, England.
"The closer it gets the more I realize that I'm actually going. I got my passport in the mail a couple of weeks ago," Klemkowsky said.
A junior at Wheeling Jesuit University, Klemkowsky is busy.
When the physics major isn't studying, she captaining the women's soccer team or volunteering, but that didn't keep her from getting a coveted spot in the highly-competitive research program.
Co-sponsored by the University of Florida, the international research program will offer her one of the best educational experiences a physicist can ask for.
"I'm excited for the research too obviously," Klemkowsky said. "I think that's going to help expose me to some of the things that I'm going to need in the future. But I think that getting the whole experience of meeting new faces, and taking in all of the different sites I think is going to be fun."
Klemkowsky's dreams of studying outer space date back to a childhood stay at space camp. Since then she's dreamed big.
She's talked about one day being the first astronaut on Mars, and her dad said whenever she decides she wants is within her grasp.
"Everything she's put her mind to, she's accomplished. Maybe it's not the first time, but she's done very well all through high school and what not," said Peter Klemkowsky.
Jenna leaves for England at the end of May. She said being selected into the program proves that attending a small school like WJU doesn't limit your opportunities. A lesson she hopes to spread on campus when she returns.
"I think the closer it gets the more real it becomes, which is exciting but nerve racking as well because there is a lot to get done," she said.