Pictured above: Students of AeroStar Avion Institute learn about the aerospace industry.
By Sonya Lewis and Yolanda Harris
Before they participated in AeroStar Avion Institute’s “Giving Wings to Dreams” summer camp last summer, some students likely never imagined that they could have a career in aviation.
Pictured above: Tammera Holmes, a 2017 Acting Up awardee, and CEO & executive director of AeroStar Consulting Corporation and AeroStar Avion Institute NFP.
Thanks to Boeing, the summer camp’s sponsor, 45 students in fifth grade through high school were introduced to the aerospace industry through flight simulations, drone operations and model aircraft building. And, thanks to a $2,500 Acting Up award from The Chicago Community Trust in 2017, Aerostar Aviation was able to expand the summer camp to serve more students than in the past.
“Boeing sponsored our summer camp, and the $2,500 Acting Up award allowed us to really enhance our programming,” said Tammera Holmes, CEO & executive director of AeroStar Consulting Corporation and AeroStar Avion Institute NFP.
Tammera, an aviation consultant, hosted an On the Table in 2017 with her board members and organization supporters to discuss the next generation of African-American aviation professionals in Chicago.
“There are not a lot of African Americans in the aviation industry,” Tammera said. “We we wanted to focus on strategies to build capacity and a pipeline where kids could develop a love for aviation.”
One strategy was expanding the Giving Wings to Dream program. Traditionally, the program only served high school students in After School Matters. The Acting Up award enabled Tammera to expand the summer camp program to students in the fifth through eighth grades.
Giving Wings to Dream was held at the Harold Washington Cultural Center last summer. The program featured a two-week summer camp for children in the fifth through eighth grades and a three-week camp for high school students.
Tammera, who hosted an On the Table event again in 2018, said this about On the Table: “It’s a forum to share ideas and make attendees accountable to organize. Everyone has good ideas, but only those who put action behind their ideas make progress.”
Pictured above: Students of Aerostar Avion Institute explore the aerospace industry. Aerostar hosted two “Giving Wings to Dreams” summer camps last summer to help youth learn about aviation careers.The summer camps, sponsored by Boeing, were expanded to serve students in the fifth through eighth grades, thanks to an Acting Up award from The Chicago Community Trust.