I usually advice teenagers who want a military flying career to focus on academics and other activities first, because the military will retrain how you fly. If you do clamor for flying fame as a teenager, however, use Taylor De Ley as a role model on how to do it correctly.
His family, originally from Belgium, are not the stereotypical publicity hounds, pushing a child to accomplish a feat he is not ready for. His father helped his son by sharing time together, learning many aspects of aviation. According to the article on The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) website, Taylor and his dad built his Van’s RV–4 kit plane. I assume, therefore, that Taylor knew his aircraft inside and out. The two times the oil needed changing during the trip must have been a piece of cake for him. Before beginning the flight, he had almost 270 hours, an achievement for any private pilot. Taylor earned the money for his trip the way young people traditionally earned flying time–by working at his local airport, washing planes.
According to AOPA Online, “[Taylor] dedicated the flight to giving fellow teens who are “stuck playing video games” a taste of the flying adventure through his reports on Facebook, and through the news reports written about him.” You can read the whole article and see more of its photos at this link, AOPA Online: 17-year-old circles the U.S. AOPA Online shared these photographs.
Well done, Taylor, and well done to his family, too.