YOUTH

Aviation & STEM Programs

Tuskegee Airmen Youth Programs

One of the most important of TAI’s activities is the promotion, creation, and support of both local-chapter and national-organization youth and scholarship programs – particularly for minority and disadvantaged young people.

Our local chapters take the life lessons and values of the original Tuskegee Airmen – determination, courage, the refusal to accept limits, and the ability to seize opportunity – to teach career and leadership lessons using STEM and aviation-themed educational programs.

Over the last six (6) years Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI) has conducted a variety of youth activities.  Below is a summary them:
  • In 2014 and 2015 we sponsored 30 youth each year from around the country at Hampton University in Virgina for a weeklong STEM and aviation program.  TAI covered the cost of travel, lodging and meals for the youth participating.
    • Activities included STEM training provided by volunteers and professors from Hampton University, orientation flight.
  • In 2016 and 2017 we sponsored 30 youth each year from around the country at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton CA for a weeklong STEM and flight program.  TAI covered the cost of travel, lodging and meals for the youth participating.
    • Activities included orientation flights, flight training by FAA flight instructors, rocketry, and STEM activities
  • In 2018 and 2019 we paid for members of TAI to received FAA approved drone training that resulted in them be certified to conduct drone training.  In 2018, 2019 and 2020 those individual conducted drone training for youth.
    • TAI also provided funds to assist chapters in purchasing their own drones

TAI invested over $100,000 to fund the youth program between 2014 and 2019.

We obtain a donation of iPads from United Airlines that are issued to chapters to facilitate their STEM and aviation programs. This year some of our chapters have been able to conduct COVID-19 safe drone training.

At each national convention TAI hosts approximately 100 youth from the local area along with those attending the convention in a 2-day youth program.  Over the last 3 years that has included:

  • Touring the launch complex at the Kennedy Space Center and meeting with NASA astronauts
  • Visiting Patrick Air Force Base and interacting with personnel from a variety of functional areas supporting the space and flying mission at the base
  • Spending a day at the Indiana State Science Fair
  • For the last 3 years Civil Air Patrol has supported our convention by bringing their STEM Kits to the convention and allowing the TAI youth to work with and build a sampling of the STEM Kits.
  • Flying in the CAE simulator for the Leonardo Aerospace T-100 jet trainer

For the last ten (10) years TAI has participated in the Southwest Airlines Continuing the Legacy Aviation Program.  Selected youth and a parent are flown to Dallas for this three (3) day program. 

CONTINUING THE LEGACY PROGRAM

Southwest Airlines hosts rising sixth grade through undergraduate college students (accompanied by a parent or guardian) residing in the Continental U.S. to attend a hands-on aviation experience.

The Continuing the Legacy in Aviation includes touring the Southwest Airlines’ Pilot and Flight Attendant Training Centers, Maintenance facility, Network Operations Control, Headquarters Emergency Command Center, and Listening Center; flying the Southwest Airlines’ flight simulators; visiting the Frontiers of Flight Museum; meeting Southwest Airlines’ Leaders; participating in the Technology Escape Room; learning the history of the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen; and mentoring by retired and current Southwest Airlines Employees.

The Continuing the Legacy in Aviation includes:

  • Touring the Southwest Airlines’ Pilot and Flight Attendant Training Centers, Maintenance facility, Network Operations Control, Headquarters Emergency Command Center, and Listening Center
  • Flying the Southwest Airlines’ flight simulators
  • Visiting the Frontiers of Flight Museum; meeting Southwest Airlines’ Leaders
  • Participating in the Technology Escape Room
  • Learning the history of the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen
  • Receiving mentoring from retired and current Southwest Airlines Employees

We conduct background checks on all adults in direct contact with the youth and carry the necessary insurances for our youth program activities.