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Barrington Irving – Class of 2008

Barrington IrvingFlorida Memorial Student Flies Solo Around the World!
At 16, Barrington Irving, Jr. was working in his Jamaican-born parents’ inner-city Miami bookstore when he met United Airlines Captain Gary Robinson. By age 19, and with Robinson’s mentorship, Barrington obtained his first pilot’s license, and began inspiring young people in his community toward aviation.

As an aerospace major at Florida Memorial University, with just 600 hours of certified flight time, Barrington promised himself he would become the youngest—and the first of African descent—to fly solo around the world. In 2005, he established the non-profit Experience Aviation Learning Center to highlight his efforts and address the significant shortage of youth pursuing careers in aviation and aerospace.

On June 27, 2007, after 130 hours in flight, 95 days, 26,800 miles, and landings in countries such as the Azores, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Egypt, Dubai, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Japan, and Russia, Barrington made good on his promise.

Upon returning to Florida Memorial to complete his studies, Barrington said, “It doesn’t matter where you are coming from, what you have, what you don’t have. My slogan is ‘Dream, live, fly’—and that is what I wanted to prove.”