27-year-old deaf man propelling after his dreams - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

27-year-old deaf man propelling after his dreams

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PASCO, WA - We all have dreams and roads towards achieving them. Today, reporter Mackenzie Maynard met with one man who's inspiring his peers with his determination.

She visited Bergstrom, where every day they work on different planes...but as of a few weeks ago, Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic Zackary Kukorlo is changing things up around there.

Kukorlo is 27 years old and deaf.

"I was really impressed with his resume," said Jackie Vazquez, Director of Maintenance. "Little things showing he's above average."

But his disability didn't stop him from landing this job.

"Starting out as a mechanic and eventually overcame that barrier and became a pilot," Kukorlo said.

He graduated from Big Bend Community College last March, and as of a few weeks ago, Bergstrom hired him.

"In his resume he said he could tell if an engine was performing well using his chest or his hands," said Vazquez.

He's the first deaf person they've ever hired.

"We all decided we're going to give this a shot," Vazquez said.

He's an airframe and power plant mechanic, which means he does annual maintenance checks, making sure all parts are working and up to date.

"Of course the challenge was how do we communicate, so I use my cell phone," Vazquez explained. "Most people have an app you can download. I speak into my phone, it spells out the words, he reads it and he'll spell out words on his phone."

Being there with Kukorlo and his teammates was inspiring, as they were very proud of their superstar.

"He brings another element, the goodness of everybody."

In May, he'll head to Purdue University on a scholarship to take classes and do some sport flying...one step closer to propelling his way to his dreams of becoming a pilot.

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