“Kids want to be challenged, but today too many are bored and uninspired. I want to use aviation to excite and empower a new generation to become scientists, engineers, and explorers.”
Barrington Irving is very good at rising above obstacles. Literally. Raised in Miami’s inner city, surrounded by crime, poverty, and failing schools, he beat the odds to become the youngest person and only African American ever to fly solo around the world. He built a plane himself, made his historic flight, graduated magna cum laude from an aeronautical science program, and founded a dynamic educational nonprofit. Then he turned 28.
His message for kids: “The only thing that separates you from CEOs in corner offices or scientists in labs is determination, hard work, and a passion for what you want to acheive. The only person who can stop you from doing something great is you. Even if no one believes in your dream, you have to pursue it.” The secret, he believes, is having a dream in the first place, and that starts with powerful learning experiences that inspire kids to pursue careers—particularly in science, technology, engineering, and math.