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Pilot, 21, Who Got His 1st College Degree Before Graduating High School Set To Earn His 3rd

Kegan Martindale-Hernandez, 21, already has two degrees and is on his way to obtaining a third. Martindale-Hernandez was born in Connecticut to parents who had Caribbean-related businesses. Despite spending some time in New York, the young prodigy moved to Georgia when he was nine.

He told Embry-Riddle that he discovered his enthusiasm for aviation and engineering at a young age. “As my mother says, I was about 2 when I started pairing my joystick to the television.” I was always interested in how things were made and how they worked. My parents purchased my first LEGO blocks, which I used to build planes, trains, and boats. I still keep the bricks in my private container to this day.

His interests broadened as he matured, and he became passionate about astronomy, meteorology, and aviation safety while continuing to build things. The young entrepreneur co-wrote his first book, “Sweet Flight!” in 2022 with his mother, Blossom Martindale, to share his perspective on aviation and aerospace with the next generation.

The film aims to inspire young people to pursue their ambitions by focusing on a five-year-old’s love of flying and his supportive family.

He explained, “My mother encouraged the concept since she wanted me to document my early experiences on my first airline trip and investigate how my artistic mind and technical brain functioned together. I’ve always wanted people to have a positive flying experience, so we wrote about what I would have liked for my family to fly pleasantly in the skies.”

Martindale-Hernandez, who obtained his private pilot certificate a week before his 17th birthday, hopes to fly professionally eventually.

The kid reported feeling “bored” and “quite miserable” in high school classes, leading to feelings of disorientation and alienation. His grades quickly started to worsen. His mother then enrolled him in the Aviation Career Enrichment program, founded in 1980 by Julius Alexander, a former Atlanta high school teacher, broadcast journalist, and Lockheed Martin spokeswoman.

Martindale-Hernandez later discovered Embry-Riddle’s summer learning programs and dual enrollment opportunities at its Worldwide Campus. In April 2020, a month before graduating from high school, he earned an A.S. in aviation.

“Completing my dual enrollment in high school also helped offset the cost of having to pay a full four-year tuition,” he said.

He was able to rapidly enroll for his bachelor’s degree at Worldwide as a result of his better credit scores. He received a scholarship to cover the last two years of his bachelor’s degree program.

The 21-year-old, who has two degrees and is seeking a Master of Space Operations degree, stated, “The plan is to work as a commercial pilot and then in the commercial aerospace sector later in my life, hopefully for NASA at Cape Canaveral or Houston.”

In gratitude, he expressed his plan to accompany his mother and her friends on a first-class flight to Italy after he obtained his commercial pilot’s license.

 

 

Written by PH

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