About 20 student members at the Urbana Youth Center recently had the opportunity to experience the aviation industry at Urbana Grimes Municipal Airport thanks to a contribution from the local flight school, Mad River Air.
Justin Weller, Executive Director at the youth center, learned to fly at the airport and was the pilot who took students for rides in the flight school’s plane.
“Mad River Air generously donated the use of their plane so that we could give students the opportunity to experience aviation in their local community. Many of these students have never been in a plane before,” Weller said.
In addition to the ride, students learned about pre-flight checklists, the aerodynamics of flight and about potential careers in aviation. According to the UYC team, developing programs that provide unique, fun and educational experiences to students is key.
“Perhaps the most common comment from students was how small everything seemed from the air. I know it gave them an appreciation for just how big the world is and that’s essential to developing an appreciation for the town they live in,” Weller said.
Aviation is woven into the history of Ohio and Champaign County. The youth center plans to offer more plane ride and aviation opportunities this fall as part of its program lineup.
Levi LaForge, one of the students at UYC who participated in the rides, said, “Being honest, it (the UYC) is one of the best places for youth to have opportunities. The free plane rides especially are one of the many examples of why I love coming here.”
About Urbana Youth Center
UYC believes that the future of our children impacts our community’s opportunities and success for decades to come. With open hearts and open minds, this community can rally our resources to not only lift kids up but set them on a trajectory for accomplishing amazing things. The youth center serves students in grades six through twelve who attend Urbana City Schools or live in the district.