A group of students from M.S. 136 interested in aviation got to learn firsthand about what it’s like to be a pilot, thanks to seven pilots of the Latino Pilots Association (LPA), who paid a visit to the Sunset Park school on the afternoon of Monday, June 13.
The group of middle schoolers carefully listened and watched as the pilots presented a slideshow and videos, and discussed the details of piloting and the process it took them to achieve their dream career in aviation, emphasizing the importance of education and hard work.
“Although it is a root in our association, it’s not just about the Latino community,” said Jerry Dooyes, vice president of LPA. “Our goal is to motivate all youth from five-year-olds to college adults.”
After the presentation, the students had the opportunity to ask questions and then break into smaller groups, having more personal conversations with individual pilots.
An eighth grader was especially moved by one of the female pilots.
“The fact that she was a Hispanic woman, had immigrant parents like me and was able to achieve her dreams was really inspiring,” said the student.
C. Walsh, teacher and coordinator of the event, said she was inspired by a recent graduate from the middle school to coordinate this.
“He told me his dream is to be a pilot but doesn’t know enough about the industry to go through with it,” Walsh said. “I didn’t want that to happen to any of our kids. I wanted to grant them the opportunity our students didn’t have in the past.”
MS. 136 is located at 4004 Fourth Avenue.