Burdick will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. on two scholarships, and plans to minor in flight.
“I think the idea of engineering fascinates me the most,” said Burdick.
It’s not only the technical details of engineering that attract Burdick’s interest. Her dream goal is to be employed with NASA and the idea of working with spacecraft is thrilling to her.
Burdick grew up in Summerville and moved to Rome in the second grade. With family encouragement, she visited the Floyd County airport her junior year to inquire into the Civil Air Patrol. After taking a few experimental flight lessons and being able to manipulate the controls in flight, she said she was hooked.
“That was exciting because I realized how much I love flying and being up in the air, and it really kind of determined to me that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Burdick.
During her time at school, Burdick served as president of Student Council, historian of National Honor Society and also worked with the Future Business Leaders of America. She helped her cross-country team make it to state competition and kept busy with the tennis and track teams as well.
Burdick credited her literature teacher, Leigha Burnham, for inspiring her to push herself to her utmost aspirations.
“She was really just a teacher that basically said, whatever you want to do with your life, you can make it happen but you are the one who has to make it happen,” said Burdick.
In case engineering spacecraft doesn’t work out, she said she’ll be “perfectly okay” with becoming a pilot for either the military or commercial airlines. While in flight, she said she feels that there’s something bigger than all else below.
“Up in the air, you feel free,” said Burdick. “You feel like you’ve conquered the world.”
If You Go
What: Armuchee High School graduation
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where: The Forum