Some experienced first responders did not think Kathrin Santanocito would survive after she fell off a cliff in March at San Jose's Alum Rock Park.
But she did, and on Tuesday night, she dedicated her promotion in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program to those life-savers.
The 14-year-old was promoted to Airman 1st Class during a ceremony at Reid-Hillview Airport.
"I like to fly," Kathrin said. "I want to fly. I want to be a pilot."
Kathrin said she wanted the same first responders who helped save her life to attend her promotion so that she could thank each of them.
"You rarely as a firefighter see the whole event," said San Jose firefighter Don Torres. "To see her recover from that kind of accident to where she is now, it's great to see that."
Kathrin's father, Mark Santanocito, also at one point feared she would not survive the 60-foot fall.
He said seeing his daughter promoted was very special, and that he was very proud and happy.