Tucker's Youth Program Gives Kids the Sky
Airshow legend Sean D. Tucker is at it again, but instead of dazzling us in the sky he's inspiring us on the ground.
Sean and his son Eric have created a program that goes beyond the EAA's Young Eagles flight. Their program, Every Kid Can Fly, provides flight training opportunities to at-risk teenagers from their local community of Salinas, California. It's purpose is not only to share the joy of flying, but also to engage the students in a fun educational journey that will challenge and hopefully inspire the next generation.
"Today we took 24 people on a Young Eagles flight," said Eric Tucker, Executive Director of Every Kid Can Fly. "and those are sort of the applicant pool for our next flight."
Because these kids are now Young Eagles they have the opportunity to take the Sporty's Learn To Fly Course for free. This computer-based program provides all the ground instruction necessary for a student to take the FAA written exam.
After completing the Sporty's Learn To Fly Course the students can apply for the Every Kid Can Fly program. Only the top 7 or 8 students will get accepted. Once the students are in they will be provided an aircraft and flight instructor at no charge. They will work with this instructor on a one-on-one basis to reach the goal of their first solo. But even though the students pay no money, Eric reminds us that it isn't a free ride.
"Each student has to earn their way through the program first by taking the online course and showing that they are excited and willing to learn," stated Tucker. "But if they really want it and work hard we'll give them everything they need to reach solo flight."
To find out more about the EAA's Young Eagles program and to find a flight rally near you check out the EAA's website.