Age: 17
Hometown: Evergreen Park, IL
School: Marist High School
Year: Senior
Aspiring Major: Aerospace Engineer with emphasis in Electronics and Business

Career Aspirations:
I’m interested in engineering and business.

Hobbies & Interests:
My hobbies include: hanging out with my friends, reading articles on the internet, going on long bike rides with my brother. I also like to learn about stock market trading, lifeguarding, track and field, and working out.

I was a part of Legacy Flight Academy in Tuskegee, Alabama, and ACE Academy at Lewis University. I also participated in school supply packing events, like Active Food Packaging, to serve the homeless community.

Why are you passionate about aviation?
I used to be afraid of flying when I was young. This fear of flying manifested into a fear of heights. I was terrified to go on rides and had vertigo when I stood in high places. My fear of flying actually stopped me from spending time with family in Florida.The dread of flying was so great; I refused to go on the plane with my grandmother. That ended up being the last chance I had to spend time with her, on vacation, before she passed away.

When I was in seventh grade, my father asked me what I wanted to do with my life and that got me thinking. I started brainstorming a bunch of careers that I would enjoy. One of those was engineering. The thought of coming up with an idea of building something that actually works enthralled me with excitement. From there, I started researching the different fields of engineering. Aerospace engineering interests me because I developed an interest in aviation. I was constantly looking up planes in Wikipedia and would read about them for hours. I also chose aerospace engineering to help fight my long-standing fear of flying. I decided that in order to know how to work a plane, I would need to know how to fly the plane.

My sophomore year of high school, I decided it was the time to put my ambition into action. So I signed up for ACE Academy. The program’s main goal is to expose youth to the multiple fields of aviation. The program took us on trips and gave us career education. The best part for me was being able to fly. Even though I only flew once, and didn’t get to take the controls, I was pleased with the opportunity. The program helped me accomplish what I set out to do: find career options, gain a broader knowledge of aviation and, finally, conquer my fear of flying. Flying that plane gave me a sense of comfort and control that I never felt before. In fact, I loved flying so much I ended up signing up for another program called Legacy Flight Academy. Legacy Flight Academy provided lessons and flying time. I've had a passion for flying ever since. I even set a goal for myself to get a private pilot’s license before going to college. Long story short, my worst fear turned into my greatest passion.

What is your future aspiration?
I wish to become an engineer and help develop more efficient methods of energy production. I want to build things that will help many people in the long run, such as building generators that produce efficient and reusable energy.

Why did you choose to apply to Tuskegee NEXT?
I joined this program to test myself. I think the best privilege this program has offered me so far is the chance to see myself in action when I put my mind to something. I also joined the program to live a family legacy in aviation, created by my great-uncle, Tuskegee Airman, D.C. official Cicero Satterfield.