Evergreen Park teen has his eye on the sky
BY CHERYL DANGEL BARTOLINI Correspondent December 28, 2012 2:52PM
Anthony Betts, who wants to go into aviation and aerospace engineering, poses at Evergreen Park High School where he is a student in Evergreen Park, IL on Friday November 16, 2012. He excels at science and math. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 1, 2013 6:01AM
Anthony Betts long has been fascinated by airplanes.
“I discovered I had an interest in airplanes and aircraft material, and I wanted to expand on it,” the Evergreen Park High School senior said.
His plans to “expand on it” have been in place for a few years now.
“(Since) around eighth grade, I’ve tried to focus on math and science so that I would stay proficient in those areas,” he said.
Betts has done just that. In each of his four years at Evergreen Park, Betts, a high honor roll student, has been named the school’s Math Student of the Year.
“I’ve always gotten A’s in my math class, so that was probably the reason,” Betts said. “I know others probably deserved the award, so it came as a surprise.”
He has enjoyed math since first grade.
“I found I liked numbers. I have always liked numbers and have been confident with them throughout school,” he said.
That explains why his favorite extracurricular activity is mathletes.
“It is just proof how much I like math,” he said.
He also wholeheartedly enjoys science.
“I’m really confident with it. I enjoy the concepts,” Betts said.
Combine his love of airplanes with his passion for math and science and it is no surprise that Betts, 17, plans a career in aerospace engineering.
His favorite colleges are Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Georgia Institute of Technology.
“I like them because they are highly ranked for the major I want and offer a lot of connections,” he said. “I would major in aerospace engineering and minor in aviation if I could.”
He also has been thinking of taking flight lessons or enrolling in the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, which also offers flight lessons.
His future plans give him plenty to think about as he wraps up his senior year of high school.
His other school activities include membership in chess club and student leadership, and he works as a freshman mentor. Last year, he also was in St. Xavier University’s Honor band, where he played the French horn. He also runs cross country and is on the wrestling team.
Betts, the son of Anthony Betts Sr. and Monica Rhodes, resides in Evergreen Park. His mentors are his coaches.
“I’m goal-oriented. My coaches teach me to push myself,” he said. “I have a pretty decent sense of motivation. I don’t like to fail at things that I do. I like to achieve my goals and do everything that I can to reach them.”