I could not ask for better parents. My dad, Jeff, and mom, Laura, both were passionate about education when they met. Like all parents, they wanted the best for their children, and when they realized that the traditional educational system would fail us, they started their own school. My younger brother, Sam, and I were two of the seven founding students at this new, innovative school. My sister, Taite, was a bit too old for the school, but supported us through the entire process. Acton Academy started as a small school in a little house, literally taking on the philosophy of a one-room schoolhouse. Over the years, Acton grew from seven students to the roughly ninety that attend today. Of course, Acton moved from the house into a permanent campus in East Austin. Now, the revolutionary ideas that Acton was built on have spread, and dozens of Acton Academy affiliates have opened across the world. To learn more about Acton and its innovative model, visit their website.

Although I learned a lot at Acton and gained skills that will help me succeed in the real world, I decided to attend a more traditional school to experience a larger community. I had fun at a traditional school, but realized that the education there wasn’t fulfilling my need for real world skills. I decided that I would set out on my own to complete my high school education. Using innovative learning techniques, I’m on a journey to discover my calling and pursue my passions.

One of those passions is paragliding, which started when I first went tandem at age three. Since that first flight, my eyes were always turned to the sky. I was told I could start flying solo when I reached 100 pounds. For years I weighed myself, counting down the time until I could fly on my own. When I reached the weight requirement, we started training. Being the good father that he is, my dad decided he would learn to fly alongside me. This wasn’t his first experience with aviation, though. He has been flying planes since he was a teenager. We traveled to the Point of the Mountain in Draper, Utah to get an introduction to solo paragliding. After a week in Utah, and several weeks in Colorado, we were signed off as P2 pilots. Three years later, we have over 150 flights each.

Thanks to my new education plan, we get the opportunity to travel to paraglide. Once a month we will embark to a new location. In the past, our paragliding travel has been limited, and only in the United States. I’m excited to explore the world through the eyes of a pilot.

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