A big thanks to a group of aviation industry leaders, who made an incredible donation to Pathways to Aviation.
To set the stage, we were invited to attend a dinner during the week of the 2014 Reno Air Races, where we were to describe our mission and programs to a sub-group of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading members. All we new about this organization was that it had a charitable foundation and that a few of its members were involved with the National Aviation Heritage Invitational.
When we arrived at Bricks in Midtown Reno, we were met by 60+ industry executives, who flew in from all across the globe. We shared the Pathways to Aviation mission and programs. When asked what we'd do with $1,000, we described an idea we randomly created just hours earlier.
Fast forward to this year, the same group invited us back to Bricks to share how we used their $1,000 donation. In a nutshell, here's what we said...
"Gentlemen, we invested your contribution into an idea we created just hours before last year's check presentation. The idea was simple, but we had no idea of its impact. We wanted to infuse aviation into K-12 STEM education. Despite initial challenges and roadblocks, we've successfully developed an aviation curriculum framework, which is being piloted to schools in the Washoe County School District. It has met the approval of school district officials and the University of Nevada. It has also been endorsed by the Nevada Governor's Workforce Investment Board for Aerospace and Defense, which asked if we could take the initiative statewide to all school districts in Nevada. Not stopping there, we decided to showcase subjects within the curriculum (aircraft, rocketry, space exploration, and drones) at the 2015 Reno Air Races. The response from local educators flew to the moon, as 3,175 students and teachers participated in on-site classes, in these subject areas, during this year's Air Races. It was a phenomenal success. That's how we spent your $1,000!!!"
Fortunately, the "Aviation Aficionados" liked our review of their contribution, because they awarded us another contribution.
We can't wait to report back, next year, to describe the impact created by this year's investment!