Return to Headlines


Central Wildcat Ben Studen wears his lettermans jacket in front of an airplaneFor Central Wildcat Ben Studen, the commencement directive to “fly high and soar among the clouds” has a distinct meaning.
When Ben walked across the stage to accept his diploma Saturday, he did so with another hard-to-earn credential already in his possession: a private pilot’s license.
Long interested in flying, Ben earned the license through a Colorado Springs flight school while concurrently enrolled at Pueblo Community College, anchoring the Central swimming team – he finished as the South-Central League champion in the 100 backstroke and qualified for state in two individual and three team relay events – and holding down a job in the restaurant industry.
Ben, who graduated as a Wildcat Magna Cum Laude with Honors, passed the written and oral pilot's exam earlier this year, and successfully completed an extensive check ride with a Federal Aviation Administration examiner to earn his private pilot’s license.
On track to become a certified flight instructor by the age of 20, Ben -- who has been enrolled at the Arapahoe Flight Training School since the age of 17 -- will continue his journey to a commercial pilot’s license, with a goal of flying private and/or corporate jets.
To celebrate his upcoming graduation, Ben took a high-altitude cruise over the Orman Army campus, giving him a perspective of Central High School that few, if any, high schoolers ever get to experience.
Testifying to this work ethic, Ben has been employed since the age of 14, with his earnings earmarked for a retirement account set up with assistance from his father.