Like many children, Bradley Dawson enjoyed building with LEGOs and designing new creations from the little bricks. He’s always loved cars and rockets too, so it’s no surprise he wants to be a mechanical engineer.
“I’d have to say if I could pick anything, I’d want to work with cars,” Dawson said. “Along the lines (of) like the designing process and working on different aspects of cars, probably.”
The 18-year-old Murray High School senior explained that ever since he was little, Dawson and his father have shared a love for cars and work on them together. His favorite subject areas are also math and science, which he comes by honestly.
“My mom is a physics teacher at the high school and so every spring break they go down to the moonbuggy competitions in Huntsville, Alabama, and I’d go with them,” he said. “Me and my dad would always explore the rocket center. We’d go look at all the rockets and all the exhibits and stuff. I’ve always loved everything to do with that.”
Rockets involve the specialized aerospace engineering field, but Dawson wants to go the mechanical route because it’s a “lot more broad” and there’s a better chance for more jobs. He wouldn’t have to go to any certain areas for work.
He’s currently undecided on where he will attend after high school graduation, but the top three college choices are Vanderbilt University, the University of Alabama and Murray State.
Dawson, son of Roger and Melanie Dawson of Almo, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes a profile story about an area high school senior selected from a pool of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee will choose one student as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive an Inspiration Award and $1,000 scholarship.
Dawson’s academic achievement ranks him first in his class at Murray High School with a weighted cumulative GPA above 4.2. He’s a National Merit semifinalist and earned a 35 composite ACT score. His many extracurricular activities include playing varsity soccer and varsity baseball for the Murray Tigers.
He served as a soccer goalie all four years at Murray High and primarily plays as a right-handed pitcher in baseball. Sports have been a big part of Dawson’s life for many years and he played travel baseball too, earning recognition in the 2014 edition of “Best Baseball Players in USSSA,” referring to United States Specialty Sports Association.
Dawson credits sports for helping his leadership and communication skills, as well as time management due to his various commitments, whether it’s been practice, games or traveling.
“Sports, in general, really taught me how to work through adversity and teamwork with people,” he said. “You have to really love your team to get along with them and do things together and I’d say like all my teams have been super close. Adversity – if things go wrong, you can’t just (stop). You got to go through it and try to work harder and get through it.”
He likes hanging out with family, going to the gym, playing pick-up games and video games with friends during his spare time. As for senior year at Murray High, Dawson reports that it’s going well so far.
“I’m excited to graduate, though I’m apprehensive because I don’t know where I’m going yet and I’m kind of reluctant to leave home because I really love Murray and I love it here,” he said. “But I’m also excited for whatever college I go to, whatever it has in store for me.”
By: Kelly Farrell