Payton Mercer, a 17-year-old from Port Wentworth, Ga., will be attending the ERAU Worldwide Campus Graduation commencement ceremony in Daytona Beach, Florida next month as the first-ever Embry-Riddle Dual-Enrollment student to graduate from high school and earn an Associate Degree in Aeronautical Science concurrently.

In high school, Payton earned a Private Pilot’s License, while maintaining a 3.5 GPA, and remaining active in the Civil Air Patrol, where he’s a Cadet 1st Lieutenant. He also serves as the Vice President of the Effingham County 4-H Club.

In 2017, Payton was one of 23 high school students in the nation to earnĀ a $5,000 flight training scholarship from AOPA, and in 2018 he was one of 64 students from around the world invited to attend the Elite Advanced Space Academy.

Payton is homeschooled through the Georgia Cyber Academy, and he plans to attend Middle Georgia State University this Fall.