YPSILANTI – Area high school students interested in a career at 36,000 feet recently gathered for a five-day Aviation Career Education Academy facilitated by a new partnership between Eastern Michigan University faculty and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Participants from Ypsilanti Community High School enjoyed breathtaking opportunities, such as an orientation flight in motor gliders used to train the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots who fought in World War II. The students also learned aviation history and met professionals from the aviation and aerospace community along with receiving basic education in the aviation field.
The programming also included tours of the Detroit Metro Airport Air Traffic Tower and Radar Room, a presentation by the Willow Run Airport’s Civil Air Patrol Unit, a live rocket demonstration and other aviation-related facilities.
The first-year program was spearheaded by Ramone Crowe, a professional and program manager with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), along with a number of organizations and individuals who have supported the effort since 2016.
The camp aims to provide underrepresented youth with aviation career education and to encourage them to pursue excellence and careers in aviation and aerospace science.
“The overall goal is to increase exposure to women and minorities and other underrepresented groups,” Crowe said. “We want to spark their interest in aviation so that they will pursue those careers. We are excited about next year’s academy due to the overwhelming number of organizations and school systems that want to partner with us.”
The program provides students with a wide range of aviation career exploration experiences and also focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEMs) and Professional Development.
The list of sponsors for the camp includes:
Eastern Michigan University, Celeste Hawkins, faculty, School of Social Work.
Eastern Michigan University, Toni Stokes-Jones, faculty, College of Education.
Eastern Michigan University, Melinda Marion, Technology Transfer.
National Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Brian Smith, cosponsor.
Black United Fund of Michigan, Kenneth Donaldson, cosponsor
Ypsilanti Community Schools, Sherrell Hobbs, Assistant Superintendent.
Delta Airline, cosponsor.
Federal Aviation Administration, Ayisha Mumin, Director Workforce Development.
Federal Aviation Administration, James Brough, National STEM Program Manager.
Black United Fund of Michigan, Linda McClain.
American Airlines, Captain Christopher Kinsey.
United Airlines/Air National Guard, Brandon Jones.
National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation employees.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves 20,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.