Lori Bowler has yet to find an obstacle she could not overcome. In fact, the Stone Bridge High School senior readily seeks out challenges.
"I like to see what other people can do and I'm like, 'I can do it too.' I haven't really found anything that I didn't like to do, so I've just kept on going," said Bowler.
That resolve has allowed Bowler to reach new heights, literally.
During the summer of 2013, Bowler solo piloted a plane. Bowler obtained the necessary skills to do so through an internship with Solar4Leesburg, where she was the first high school student to participate in the program.
"I was able to do that before I got my driver's license," Bowler said. "They let me fly a plane before I drove a car."
Bowler, 17, is also an academic standout. She maintains a 4.47 GPA and is involved in a multitude of school activities.
A math and science aficionado, Bowler was one of six students selected to represent the United States at the 2013 International Space Olympics in Russia. She placed first in two categories and was second overall.
"It started back in kindergarten," Bowler said of her academic prowess. "I always got the ones out of the ones, twos and threes. It felt good to succeed and get the perfect scores so it just continued on."
Bowler also finds time to volunteer. She was the recipient of Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation's Volunteer of the Year award in 2012.
As for college, Bowler is considering Virginia Tech, noting that the Blacksburg school has been approved as one of six national drone testing sites by the Federal Aviation Administration.
She has also applied to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
"The past two years, I've really gotten into engineering," Bowler said. "I want to major in computer science and mechanical engineering. And then I really want to go into a career with the military developing drones or satellites or something in aerospace."
Whichever path she chooses, Bowler is sure to be up to the challenge.
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