MEDFORD TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Shawnee High School salutatorian Kyle Hare is headed to one of the most prestigious colleges, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but his biggest accomplishment goes back to his birth: a miracle.
"I born at 27 weeks and I was told I was not supposed to live," the graduate said.
"To see where he's at now when you spent every day and years wondering what's around the corner and you're waiting for the bad news," Kyle's father, Brad Hare said.
Kyle is a living example of where you started doesn't determine where you'll go. He spent three months fighting for his life as a two-pound premature baby.
"His drive and his determination to do everything well from the time he was little, he wanted to be the best, he just really works hard. When he has a goal he makes sure he achieves it," said Kyle's mother, Danielle Hare.
He's an incredible student and a record-setting competitive swimmer who even still keeps in touch with the nurses and doctors who saved his life.
"I'm just grateful and thankful to all the nurses and doctors who helped me become who I am today," Kyle said.
Kyle, the salutatorian of his class, will graduate during a virtual ceremony on June 16, but he's hoping that the tentative date for an in-person ceremony works out in the future. He plans on majoring in chemical engineering at MIT.
"He's going to be walking into arguably the number one college in the world with the same dedication. I expect big things, it's going to be fun to see," said his father.
"We hope he makes the world a better place," his mom added.
"I'm just amazed I was able to come out so lucky, so many people aren't, and I think it's an inspiration for other people born premature," Kyle said.
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Shawnee High School salutatorian, swimmer is inspiration for premature babies