His grandfather's can-do attitude, characteristic Chickasaw willpower and love of aviation inspired him from an early age. Chickasaw citizen Chris Carpenter greatly admired his determined grandfather, a man who received his pilot's license when he was just 16 years old.
A 2002 graduate of Ada High School, Chris grew up in Ada, Oklahoma, and was always surrounded by tribal activities. Graduating with a degree in electrical engineering from Tulsa University in 2006, he went to work for PSO – Public Service Company of Oklahoma – as a product design engineer. A prime example of the bold Chickasaw spirit, Chris simultaneously worked toward achieving his graduate degree.
As a grad student in 2008, Chris was part of a team that created a specialized wheelchair for a young quadriplegic girl that allowed her to be more independent and to more effectively communicate with her family and friends. He credits the Chickasaw Nation's support with making it possible for him to obtain the highly specialized engineering knowledge and training that helped him succeed in such an endeavor.
Ultimately aspiring to be like his beloved grandfather and mentor, Chris eventually took his electrical engineering degree and went on to work at flight simulation company CymSTAR, LLC.