Boynton Beach High valedictorian sets sights on aerospace engineering

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Samuel Midden, 17

Samuel Midden started freshman year at the rank of 45. His goal was to eventually be in the top 10 percent of his class at Boynton Beach High School.

After some key adjustments, he realized at the beginning of junior year that he could actually not just be in the top, but be the top of his class.

Working hard and studying, he moved up to the top spot in the last semester of school to claim valedictorian.

“It was a grind, and I sacrificed work hours and free time to commit to studying and ensuring A’s,” Midden said. “I’m very proud to have obtained valedictorian.”

Midden, 17, is dual-enrolled at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Palm Beach State College.

Starting in his freshman year, he enrolled in two college classes, as well as an Advanced Placement (AP) course.

“This was my first high school struggle, and I had to manage my time to be able to do all the papers, notes, and studying required to maintain good grades,” Midden said. “There were also some classes that I wasn’t excelling in, and it required me to sacrifice free time and commit more time to studying and practicing.”

Now his hard work is paying off. He will attend the University of Central Florida where he plans to major in aerospace engineering and project management.

He hopes to become an engineer in South Florida, and would like to make things safer and more efficient.

For instance, he’d like to work with Florida Power & Light Co. to quickly and effectively inspect remote areas and structures to ensure power is being transported safely and efficiently. He hopes that his work will directly or indirectly help people in South Florida.

He’s grateful for the support of his family and friends. His mother and father, Margaret and Joseph, stressed education, and his sisters, Kelli and Sarah, pushed him to do better.

In addition to compiling more than 100 hours of community service, Midden joined several high school clubs, such as the Academic Bowl and National Honor Society. He was even an AS4STEM Drone Team Captain.

Midden is “grateful and proud” for the opportunity to be part of the Boynton High’s Aerospace Science Academy program and dual enrollment.

Graduating high school, he’ll have more than 40 college credits. But the experiences he obtained from field trips and certifications and knowledge, are priceless.

“I am proud of the friends I have made in high school, and I know I will stay in touch with them for life,” Midden said.


Who is your hero?

My dad, Joseph Midden. He has been here my whole life, offering advice and wisdom that I hold dear.

What is your favorite movie?

“Blazing Saddles”

What are your hobbies?

I love to scuba dive, fish, and be out on the beautiful South Florida coast. I also enjoy practicing martial arts and playing Xbox with my friends.

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is a comic, “Calvin and Hobbes.” I love how when I read it as a kid, I could find it hilarious. And as I read it as a young adult; I find it hilarious in a whole new way. Bill Watterson, the creator of the comic, was able to simplify ideas and get them across to different generations. That takes a unique talent and he did it so well.

If you could meet any person in history, who would it be and why?

Sir Isaac Newton. I think it would be fascinating to converse with someone that theorized and defined mathematics that we know 300 years later. I would love to see how he worked and what sparked his theories and tests.

What do you do to get away?

Depending on the weather: If it’s nice out, a drive down A1A with the sunroof open and windows down letting the breeze flow through and looking at the beautiful ocean. If it’s not nice, putting in some headphones and listening to music is always a good getaway from reality without actually going anywhere.

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