HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — Brian Bartelo loves outer space.
"I want to be a space lawyer. I want to solve problems that people have when they are going to and working in space," he said.
The 12 year-old from Hamburg just became one of two national winners in the SpaceKids Global essay competition, which spanned across 22 states and 46 cities, according to the SpaceKids Global website.
"I couldn't believe it! It is indescribable," said Brian.
Congratulations to Milan from LA and Brian from New York, the winners of our Global Nat'l Essay Competition! Many thanks to @gozerog for making this competition possible, and for the time and expertise of our esteemed panel of judges. Stay tuned as they prepare for their flights. pic.twitter.com/2HbDwHclJV— Spacekids Global (@spacekidsglobal) May 6, 2022
Brian has been home-schooled throughout his entire life by his mother, a former teacher at the University at Buffalo, and his father - an engineer at MOOG.
"We're ahead. I'm taking pre-calculus, trigonometry, tech, not stuff you take in 6th grade," said Brian.
Brian Bartelo may be the smartest 12 year-old I've ever met ...— Ryan Clarke Arbogast (@ryanarbogastTV) May 10, 2022
His essay "To Boldly Go" (shoutout @StarTrek) placed 1st in the @spacekidsglobal competition to go on @GoZeroG.
Check out his story, plus a little math tutoring 😄 on tonight's #BuffaloStrong on @WKBW at 6. ⬇️⬇️ https://t.co/tKfQgOlR7P pic.twitter.com/F6eGstqGew
Brian's essay in the competition, entitled "To Boldly Go," emulated the classic saying from the Star Trek franchise to highlight his love of outer space and his interest in astrophysics.
"I know this is what I want to do. It was super fun to write about it," said Brian.
In addition to the award, SpaceKids Global has partnered with the "Zero-G Experience" to let both Brian and the other contest winner the opportunity of a lifetime.
"Our specially modified Boeing 727 G-FORCE ONE® aircraft achieves weightlessness by flying aerobatic maneuvers called parabolas. Specially trained pilots perform these aerobatic maneuvers, which are not simulated in any way. Zero-G passengers experience true weightlessness," said the Zero-G Experience website.
Brian will take flight thanks to both companies in New York City as early as September.