“Gotta keep the grind going.”

Papillion-La Vista Senior Rebant Shrestha (above, third from left) lives by this maxim. It’s served him well. In the fall he’ll attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha to study aviation on a number of scholarships, including a Dean’s scholarship and two POC-support scholarships.

He has worked hard and excelled widely, particularly in his favorite subjects: physics, journalism, and world history. He’s always on the lookout for the stories that shape the world.

“I like journalism because I like talking to people. I like interviewing them,” he said.

Born in Nepal, Rebant and his family moved to the United States when he was starting kindergarten. They lived in New York for a year and then moved to Nebraska.

Rebant juggled a lot during high school. He played soccer all four years while participating in Quiz Bowl, History Club, and the AIM Upward Bound program.

He shows an altruistic streak as well, volunteering every Saturday at Bergen-Mercy hospital. Depending on the day, he might restock items, direct visitors, work the gift shop cash register, or even help patients.

“I just kind of fell in love with it. I love helping people,” he said.

Rebant plans to either do air traffic control or get his pilot’s license and become a commercial pilot. If that doesn’t work out, he might build on the tech education he has received from AIM and become a drone pilot. With the FAA expecting huge increases in the number of commercial drones operating in the next few years, the need for drone pilots could quadruple.

Rebant has participated in AIM Upward Bound since his sophomore year. Upward Bound is a federal TRIO program that helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in their precollege performance. AIM coordinates Upward Bound programs and provides free technology education through the Brain Exchange at five area high schools.

“Since my parents haven’t gone to college, I’m kind of just on my own. So being in Upward Bound has helped me set my path right,” Rebant said.

Rebant appreciated the support and guidance he received during his time in Upward Bound, such as searching for and applying for scholarships. He also liked AIM’s Upward Bound summer academies, which exposed him to various career possibilities he otherwise might never have considered.

Though he’s graduated now, Rebant is excited to sustain his momentum through this summer into his time at UNO.

“If I slack off now, it’ll definitely be harder for me in college,” he said.

Given his dedication, talent, and work ethic, we doubt that’ll be a problem. From all of us at AIM, congratulations Rebant!