Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Katie Britt is shooting for the stars.
The soon-to-be Lockport High School graduate is the recipient of a four-year, $412,000 scholarship to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. She plans to serve at least her eight years in the Air Force following graduation from the academy.
But Britt’s ultimate goal is the final frontier. She wants to be an astronaut, which influenced her decision to go to school in Colorado Springs.
“The Air Force has the second highest graduation rate of alumni that become astronauts,” Britt said.
The military academy with the highest rate of alumni that join NASA is the U.S. Naval Academy. But Britt said she preferred to fly rather than be out on the water.
Britt is one of about 1,000 Eastern Niagara County students who will graduate from high school this weekend. The ceremonies begin tonight at Starpoint, then continue tomorrow with graduations for Barker and Wilson on Saturday morning. Later on, Lockport students will graduate Saturday afternoon, followed by Royalton-Hartland and Newfane in the evening.
This weekend could be seen as the end of one chapter, but it could also be seen as the start of another. Most of the graduating students will be attending a two- or four-year school in the fall to continue their education, with many bringing in millions in scholarships.
Principal Frank Movalli said it’s every few years Lockport sees a graduate earn a scholarship similar to Britt’s. She was chosen out of 12,000 applicants, Movalli said.
Britt plans to study aerospace engineering but may study linguistics. As for her interest in space, that goes back a few years, Britt’s father Mo said. A chemistry class project on organic molecules in space started the journey.
“I can recall her at 13 she was talking about Earth geology, space geology,” he said. “Some kids want to be a doctor or police officer, she wanted to be an astronaut.”