Kaivon Moran has sky-high dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. He was only 4 years old, and on his first-ever plane trip when the pilot pinned wings to the young boy’s shirt and welcomed him on a cockpit tour. From there, Kaivon’s future was decided: He’d one day become a pilot. With help of the Florida Lottery Bright Futures Scholarship, the Sarasota High School senior’s future is taking off.
With his 4.04 GPA and the private pilot’s license he recently earned, Kaivon in November was accepted into Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited aviation and aerospace university. He expects to enroll in fall 2021.
The school is the perfect fit for his chosen career. Few colleges offer flight training and an aviation degree. Since Embry-Riddle is only a three-hour drive away from home in Sarasota, Kaivon will be close to the grandparents who raised him and nurtured his dream.
What has kept his dream alive 14 years after he first wore those wings?
“From that moment, I would look up and see planes flying and say, ‘That’s cool,’” he recalls. “I just keep going back to that part of my life and remembering that moment. My grandfather said, ‘If you’re serious about this, I’ll help you pay for it.’ That really gave me the motivation.”
Kaivon also was self-motivated. His freshman year, he enrolled in the MaST Research Institute, an advanced science research magnet program. On his grandmother’s suggestion, he then tested for and was awarded entry into the rigorous Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE).
The college credits AICE awards, along with his pilot’s license, helped earn his acceptance into Embry-Riddle.
“That really boosted my chances of getting in,” says Kaivon, who turns 18 soon, and hopes to play on the Eagle’s basketball team.
Although it is a private university, Embry- Riddle qualifies for Bright Futures scholarships. That, along with his Florida Prepaid savings, will cover much of the annual tuition.
Once he earns his degree in aeronautical science, Kaivon will become among the 3% of commercial pilots who are African American. He hopes to one day launch his own airline. His accomplishments so far have made Kaivon a role model to his three siblings, especially his 13-year-old brother.
“He asks me about homework, how to get into honors classes,” he says. “I just show him that I worked hard to keep my grades up and it’s paying off.”
About The Florida Lottery / Bright Futures
The Florida Lottery puts education in the spotlight with the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Florida Lottery is committed to helping students shine inside and outside of the classroom so that they can have brighter tomorrows. Since 1988, the Florida Lottery has contributed more than $38 billion to education and has sent more than 880,000* students to college on Bright Futures Scholarships.
* As of October 2020