This Could Be Just What Your Teenager Needs – By Jim Kight
Do you have a young person in your family between the ages of 12-20 years old? This article could be important for you to read for their future success. If they need to broaden their skills this might be just the ticket. It doesn’t make any difference if they are a boy or girl or if they are handicapped. They will learn skill sets they wouldn’t learn, otherwise, in school and have fun doing it at the same time.
The Civil Air Patrol cadet organization is nationwide and has more than 25,000 young people from ages 12 to 20. They are responsible for training in leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character development—just what our next generation needs. The benefits go on from there to orientation flights in powered and glider aircraft as well as flight training scholarships. They provide activities and competitions for cadets at the local, state, regional and national levels. It gets even better because they award college scholarships in a variety of disciplines. Cadets can explore careers in aviation, space, and technology through dozens of summer activities.
Brandon Schnelle is a 13 year-old student at Corbett Middle School, and attends grade seven. His favorite class is history and he enjoys reading and learning about World War II. He also enjoys hobbies such as computer programming and basketball, a good all-around kid. But on Monday nights he has an appointment at Pang Air Force Base adjacent to Portland Airport (PDX). From 6-9pm he is attending classes because he belongs to the Cadet Civic Air Patrol program and he is having fun doing it.
In May, Brandon will have the opportunity to fly in gliders and motorized planes. The object is to train and orient cadets in service for search and rescue. Nationwide there are 550 planes in the fleet that also perform 90% of U.S. inland search and rescue missions. They are credited with saving 78 lives annually. The cadets have access to three Cessna single engine planes.
Each cadet is trained to reflect the mission statement, in part, that calls for loyalty, honor, respect and humility. Other qualities like work ethic and character are emphasized.
Approximately 10% of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s new classes are filled with former CAP cadets. The program also awards scholarships in several disciplines. There are scholarship programs for cadets that don’t have available resources to join the program.
If the young person in your family could use positive direction, and a multitude of careers paths to choose from, and resources to help pay for their future education, it would be worth your time to contact the Columbia Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol. Call Major Jerry Treanor (503) 539-0175. If you want to tour the facilities, give them a week’s notice so they can provide access to the base.
As a parent or grandparent you might find it educational for yourself, as well.
Jim Kight and Brandon Schnelle