About Me

Hi, my name is Gracen Gonzalez. I’m in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M.

I’ve always loved aviation. When I was 10, I started building and flying planes. I have 35 hours of flight time towards my pilots license. I wrestle for Palmer Ridge High School, and I own a 3D printing and design business that sells high quality engineering models.

I’d like to study mechanical and aeronautical engineering at the US Air Force Academy because USAFA is all about excellence.

Enjoy a quick look at my life.



Gracen Gonzalez

What Others Say About Gracen

“Gracen is exactly the kind of high performing young man of character that we want at our Academy and as an officer in our Air Force.”

Colonel Mickey Addison – Retired US Air Force

“Gracen Gonzalez is a remarkable young man. He pursues everything with all his energy and it shows in his results!”

Scott Parazynski – Former NASA Astronaut, Everest Climber, Medical Doctor


“Gracen is one of the very top students I’ve worked with in my decades long education career. He has created many STEM projects, has the heart of an engineer, and is a young man of outstanding character.”

Mark Hyatt – Colonel USAF (ret.), former Director of the USAFA Center for Character and Leadership Development

“Gracen is mentally rugged, physically strong, intellectually focused, and deeply passionate about his dreams of attending the USAFA and the contribution he’d like to make to the world. It’s rare for a young person to possess such a clear, and consistent vision for themselves and then work towards that dream at such a high level and with such passion and consistency.”

Bruce Babashan – USA Boxing & Pro Boxing Trainer

“There are certain people who you know are going to do big things in the world. They have a unique mixture of intelligence, character, personality, and grit. Gracen Gonzalez is one of those few.” 

Jim Harshaw Jr. – NCAA Division I Wrestling Coach and All American Wrestler

“The thing that stands out about Gracen, is how diverse he is in his interests and excels in a wide variety of concepts and applications for each of those interests.”
Don Wilson – Mayor of Monument, Colorado

“Gracen is an outstanding young man. Focused, hard-working, multi-talented, mentally tough as nails and coachable. He will make a great Air Force Officer.”

David Kimes, Olympian, 2X Shooting World Champion, Navy Wounded Warriors Shooting Coach

“I have known Gracen since he was 8. I have never met a more driven, talented, and intelligent young man. He has a passion for a myriad of intellectual, artistic, and athletic pursuits and excels at all of them. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow into an exceptional young man and leader. His acceptance into the US Air Force Academy and subsequent service will make this country safer.”

Brad Coughlin – Major US Army (Ret) Army Ranger, Special Forces Medic, and Medical Officer


Top Student

Gracen had a 4.21 GPA in high school. He took Calculus as a HS Junior, and has received honors in Physics as a Freshman and in Biology as a Sophomore.

He’s been reading leadership and personal development books ever since he was 10 years old.

Attitude, Character & Fighting Spirit

Grit and Resilience

This 28 second video says it all. Gracen’s fighting spirit in a nutshell. The video was shot in 2015 when Gracen was 10 years old.

A three lap race around the circle then turn into center and knock the pin down.

Key Moment – At the 6 second mark Gracen, who’s wearing the bright green head cover, falls, immediately recovers with a judo roll, keeps sprinting and almost wins the race.

“Gracen’s unmatched drive to accomplish goals sets him well apart from his peers.”

Dino Verones Jr – Sergeant Major Retired, US Army Special Forces


Building and Flying Planes

Ever since an early age Gracen loved building and flying airplanes. From ultralight competition rubber-band powered model planes…

Building Planes

To self-designed and built from scratch RC planes.

Read to Fly

As his hobby grew bigger and more expensive, his father offered to give Gracen $10 for every leadership or personal development book he would read and write a short report on.

Co-Author of “Launch Pad”

Gracen read over 80 books, learning success and leadership principles as he funded his hobby.

He then teamed up with his father to write a book filled with the things he learned from reading the books.

Soloing Plane

Gracen is working towards his Private Pilots License with about 35 flight hours to date. He’s the first Falcon AeroLab student to ever solo a plane in their program.

Powered Parachute

He’s also learning how to fly Powered Parachutes (PPC). 



Gracen was a member of the US Olympic Training Center Judo Club and trained under the National Coach for seven years.


Always a natural leader, he was named the Colorado Judo League Outstanding Judoka in 2014 out of all elementary to high school aged judokas in Colorado.

Two Time Judo State Champion

The first 18 months Gracen did judo, he didn’t win a single competitive match. Encouraged by his father and coach to push through, he went on to win two Colorado State Championships.

He applies that delayed gratification attitude into everything he does. Gracen understands that everything is hard at first, but if you stay in the game, you eventually learn the skills that lead to success.

Video – 2015 video shot at a Wyoming State Tournament at about the time when his tenacity was starting to pay off. Gracen is wearing the Orange/Green belt.

Varsity HS Wrestling

Gracen took up wrestling when he was a high school freshman. 

Thanks to his work ethic, mental toughness and coachability, he made the Varsity team.

Wrestling Team Captain

Despite the fact that Gracen is homeschooled and doesn’t attend Palmer Ridge High School, where he wrestles, because of his natural leadership skills, he was named captain of the wrestling team in his junior year.

Only three years after taking up the sport of wrestling, Gracen qualified and wrestled in the 2022 Colorado State Wrestling Championships. 


3D Printing Business

Gracen owns and operates a 3D printing and design business. He’s built multiple 3D printers.


He builds and sells high-quality engineering models around the world. Many to engineering schools.

R&D / USAFA Swords

Gracen works part-time as a 3D printing research and design specialist with metals and integrating 3D prints with blacksmithing and metallurgy. He’s worked on designs for very large organizations and orders including doing the CAD design for the future USAFA Sword hilts.

He also teaches at a trade shop/school including blacksmithing, blade-smithing, welding, metallurgy, as well as many other mechanical processes.

He has a patent for a fastener used to manufacture kitchen knives.

Gracen loves the challenge of both the design side and the hands-on manufacturing sides of engineering. He’d like to become a mechanical engineer and then either an aeronautical or aerospace engineer. 


Civil Air Patrol

Gracen was a Civil Air Patrol Master Sergeant. He took multiple leadership roles in Civil Air Patrol including Aerospace Officer and Flight Sergeant.


Gracen’s given many presentations on 3D printing in aviation and Computer Aided Design (CAD) to local AeroLab STEM groups.

Because of his outgoing personality, he hopes to someday lead engineering teams.

Leading Adults

Gracen was in charge of giving the safety briefing and leading the adult participants at a local AirSoft event.

Because of his natural leadership, the adults, several of whom were active military, readily followed his lead.



Gracen’s been playing piano for 11 years. He was a co-winner of the music division of the Fine Arts Competition as a part of the 2022 Summit National Conference.


Video – Watch Gracen play a difficult composition of Freddy Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a 7 minute piece he played at a 2022 recital.

*** Note what happens at the 1:58 minute mark. Gracen accidentally rips a page off of his music but keeps his cool and quickly recovers. That’s Gracen’s way. Always resilient and always focused on what he needs to do to get the job done.


Singing and Church Worship

Gracen’s been taking singing lessons for three years.​

He’s a worship leader at his church and serves in youth ministry as a student leader.

Gracen Gonzalez is a well rounded high achiever
who’ll make a great addition to the US Air Force.

 “I have led many young men and women, both enlisted and officers into combat and can personally attest that Gracen has the mental, physical, and emotional courage to become an exceptional officer and future outstanding leader   in the U.S. Air Force.”

Robert May III – USAFA graduate with 21+ years as a Command Pilot with over 360 combat hours in the C-130

“Gracen has an insatiable drive, and a strong, solid character of the highest caliber. He is a joy to be around and has developed through the years to become a high level contributor in life!”

D.J. Vanas – Former Chief of Minority Enrollment, USAFA Admissions and USAFA Graduate

“Gracen is a young leader with a passion for personal development and growth. He is driven to learn, and I cannot wait to see the heights he hits!”

Tracey C. Jones, MBA, Ph.D., Major USAF

“I have known Gracen since he was born. He has always been inquisitive, diligent and perseveres in all activities in which he tackles.”

Todd Guest – Co-Founder & CEO of Spirit Oil & Gas, LLC 

For More Information, contact Gracen at:

GracenGonz @gmail.com