When retired Boeing executive John Monroe ’79 talks with high school students about careers in aerospace, he enjoys telling them he started at $1.92 an hour. “Their jaws kind of drop,” says Monroe. He goes on to tell them that, 37 years later, he was in charge of Boeing’s 777 airliner program.

Monroe, 74, has been doing that since 2003, when he retired from Boeing and became a volunteer with the Everett (Wash.) School District’s Career and Technical Education program. He now chairs the advisory board for the program, which emphasizes academics and real-life skills for high-demand regional careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).