This month is a special edition of News & Notes - we want to share with you how our students have learned to fly high!
This summer, through our partnership with Go! International in East St. Louis, we were able to send three high school students to the SOAR Into STEM program with Wings of Hope. In this camp students are taught the scientific fundamentals of aviation through a mentorship program in which they are paired with pilots, mechanical engineers, and humanitarian aviators. Our three kids split up with one of each. They built a plane engine, learned about aviation career opportunities, discussed how aviation can be used to serve remote communities, and connected with many people who work in the field. It was very special - one of our students first saw the Wings of Hope humanitarian fleet in Arusha, Tanzania when on a mission trip there in 2019, and one of her mentors was a bush pilot who flies medicine to the Masai people. As a result of this camp, one of the students completed over 75% of the modules and qualified to fly a plane! She hasn't received her driver's license - yet she was up in the air (with a pilot helping her, of course) for 30 minutes from takeoff to landing! We also had two students qualify for a tour of Boeing, in which they saw where and how planes are manufactured for both commercial and military use. They were excited to see the group after the tour, exclaiming that they learned secrets not known to the public! They were offered internships with Boeing upon graduating high school in which any post-secondary education will be completely paid for, whether that be for a pilot's license or 100% of their college tuition.
Things did not end there, as our kids were invited to a drone camp where they were taught to fly drones - particularly focusing on how to use them to deliver medical supplies to remote communities. They also learned about careers in drone piloting, and they now have the option to get their UAV license (as long as they are 16 years old) to get a job in manning drones. At the end of the experience, two of our students received two of the highest scores on the quiz in the history of the program! We plan to send another group through the SOAR Into Stem camp in April 2022 to give more of our kids these opportunities. For our language students who are going to study abroad, they will also have the opportunity to work with Wings of Hope's international operations in the field as well. We are immensely proud - the CAC is the first and only after-school program to have ever participated in any of these opportunities. We are excited to see our kids succeed in this incredible, new environment where they can truly show what high fliers they are!