The Urban League of Northwest Indiana, Inc. coordinated an educational field experience for students by coordinating the travel and itinerary for the 2022 Aviation Career Summit presented by Republic Airlines in Indianapolis, Indiana, Sunday, October 23, 2022.
The Career Summit was held at Republic Airways Hangar and was designed to expose minority students to the field of aviation by inspiring, connecting, and supporting them to learn about available careers in aviation.
Five (5) busloads of over 200 students enrolled in the Urban League NIPSCO College and Career (CCR) Programs, the Project Rebuild Program of the Gary City Court, the Clark Road Genesis Family Center After School Program, 21st Century Charter High School, Gary Area Career Center and Gary NAACP students, as well as students from Hammond Eggars Middle School gathered at 6 am at various locations in Gary and Hammond to participate in this amazing experience.
Professionals who engaged with students included the Minority Aviation & Pilots Association, Purdue University School of Aviation, The Hispanic Pilots Association, and more than fifty other schools, colleges, and aviation vendors.
Students met Casey Grant, the first African American flight attendant with Delta Airlines; Capt. Barrington Irving, who flew solo around the world; sat in an Evektor 2-small passenger plane; walked onto and sat in the cockpit of a Boeing 757 commercial airplane; saw TSA dogs and how they are trained; talked with aviation college program representatives; and so much more.
Students enjoyed the day and stated they enjoyed the summit and, because of the experience, have a greater knowledge of future pathways for aviation careers.
After this experience, tenth graders Elijah and Cheyenne Whitt of 21st Century Charter School expressed interest in pursuing aviation careers after high school. Elijah wants to become an aerospace technology expert, and his twin sister Cheyenne is interested in becoming a pilot.