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Christian Kennerly

Christian Kennerly


Christian developed a love of aviation and the military early in his life. He would often make his own military-style “uniform” out of construction paper and anything else lying around.

When I found out about the U.S. Space and Rocket center’s Aviation Challenge program, I knew it would be something Christian would love. I showed the program to him in late 2012, and he immediately wanted to attend that next summer. It changed him. He came home so excited, having made new friends, and learned valuable lessons in cooperation with others. Christian couldn’t wait to go back the next year. He attended the Mach III Elite program the next 3 years, and always coordinated the dates with the friends he had made. In 2016, after several tries, he and his partner won the coveted “Top Gun” challenge. Christian was very proud of this accomplishment, as they had to come from the bottom to win. This just shows the level of teamwork and commitment that Aviation Challenge instills in their participants.

The last year he could attend was 2016, and he talked about coming back to be a counselor 2 years later. Sadly, he did not make that last goal, as we lost him to suicide in March 2018. He was 19. We created a scholarship fund in his name, and wish to share the joy of Aviation Challenge with others each year. That is why we have set up a memorial scholarship for Aviation Challenge.

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