ALDIE, Va. (WDVM) — Many students picked up new hobbies and interests as they were learning virtually during the past year, but few can say they built a backyard roller coaster, like LCPS student, Jake McCluskey.
McLuskey is a junior at John Champe High School. He said he’s been working on the project for about seven months, fulfilling his lifetime dream of building his own rollercoaster.
“During quarantine, all of the days off, I had a bunch of free time, so I got bored, was on YouTube and I started looking at videos,” said McCluskey.
McCluskey watched tutorials from YouTube engineers and decided to head to Home Depot, which he now calls his “second home” to find wood and PVC pipes.
“Almost every day, anytime I can go to Home Depot, I get some money, I go and find the wood, I also go dumpster diving, I go on old construction sites,” explained McCluskey.
Earlier this month, McCluskey went viral on TikTok, receiving over 16 million views on this video. He’s still in disbelief how fast the video took off.
Smiling, he said, “I mostly thought it was a dream, I was like ‘oh my gosh this is amazing.”
McCluskey said he never gave up during the process, “I’m so determined, so committed, like, it’s pouring rain outside, I’m drilling screws and PVC pipes and sometimes I ask myself, ‘wow am I really doing this?’ It’s crazy, I never give up and you cannot, anyone out there, cannot give up.”
Jake hopes his story will inspire other students to pursue their interests and follow their dreams.