I have always been interested in flying, so I have always wanted to be a pilot or some kind of astronaut. Two things sparked my interest in flying. When I was a little kid, I just imagined myself in the sky, flying. Then in ninth grade before Covid, we had to choose a career and research it for our English class. We did a little test, and I got a pilot. I thought it was really cool, so I did all my research about the certificates and everything you needed to do to be a pilot. I could actually see myself doing this [being a pilot.] It is a very education focused job. I am really good with tests, studying and making sure I get everything right. I like lists; that checklist before flight would not bother me at all.

Recently I got accepted into the Envision Aerospace and Aviation Academy. I’m only one out of one hundred kids in the United States [who were chosen.] It’s a twelve-day trip to Houston Texas and we’ll be staying at Rice University, and it is partnered with NASA. We’re going to have a guest astronaut speaker and one of the things we’ll be doing is building satellites and launching them. We’re currently paying for the tuition for it which is about $6,000.00. I am saving up all my money from Rite Aid to go to this thing and we have a GoFundMe. It’s a really exciting opportunity that I was given. I am most excited for the experience and helping me further trying to become a pilot. It is going to be cool seeing all these kids who could be my competition for piloting program or my coworkers.

Mackenzie is part of Valley Jr-Sr High School’s class of 2023 where she is enrolled in several AP classes and Penn State Talent Search. She can also be found on the Varsity Bowling team, track and field team, and works more than 20 hours a week at Rite Aid. Mackenzie is currently interested in a career as a pilot for a commercial airline and is looking into Kent State’s aeronautics program as a way of fulfilling that dream.

#IAmTRIO #TRIOWORKS #envisonexpereince #aerospace #aviationacademy