Kyle Albertson, a recent Purdue graduate from Fowler, IN, is this year’s recipient of the Tyler Trent Courage and Resilience Award from Purdue. Albertson, who studied in the College of Agriculture, was diagnosed at 9 months old with congenital muscular dystrophy, which causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. He has battled – and beaten – challenges that few even have to consider.
“So, I have been in a wheelchair since I was three years old. So, I am fully wheelchair bound so I can’t do many physical tasks, but I’ve gotten my license. I can drive a modified van. I’m really good with joysticks. That’s how I drive my van, drive my chair, and fly my drones. It’s kind of like second nature to me.”
Albertson knew he wanted to get into agriculture in some way, and he found that he was very good with flying drones. That’s why he started Albertson Drone Service, which specializes in photography, crop monitoring, drone spraying and drone spreading, and he is the first licensed drone spraying contractor in Indiana.
“Many people see me overcoming, resilience, and all that stuff, but to me I don’t really feel like I have overcome a whole lot because I’ve never really known anything different. It’s just like with this drone business- I can’t do a lot of other stuff in agriculture and I thought, ‘Well, this is something I can do and I’m good at, so why not jump in on that?’ I always find a way to make it work. So, I was very humbled to be selected and to honor Tyler’s legacy,” Albertson told HAT.
“Kyle’s mental toughness and ability to achieve the fullness of life, in spite of the obstacles, represents everything that the Tyler Trent award stands for,” Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said. “He defines a Boilermaker, a person who overcomes genuine adversity and leads others by example. I am inspired by his story; how could one not be.”
Congratulations, Kyle Albertson! You can read more about Albertson here.