TRAVIS AIR BASE, Calif .– Leaders of the Lee A. Archer Jr. Chapter of Tuskegee Airman Inc. hosted a youth outreach event on November 20, 2021, to inspire young people to pursue careers in aviation, aerospace science and technology.
The event educated a young community of six students about the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and the significant achievements of African Americans who participated in the original Tuskegee flight experience.
Students toured Travis AFB’s flight line, a KC-10 Extender, simulated flight in a KC-10 flight simulator, and ended with a lesson at the Heritage Museum.
“We hosted this event today to fulfill our mission to inspire the youth in our community,” said Nathaniel Clayton, Chapter President Lee A. Archer. “The impact a tour like this could have on a youngster could inspire a passion he never thought of, that’s what we’re here for.”
According to TAI, their mission is to honor the achievements and carry on the history of African Americans serving in the US Army Air Corp and Air Force during World War II. They call these brave men the Tuskegee Airmen to include pilots, aircrew, ground personnel and operations support.
“I am motivated to educate our next generation of Airmen to understand their capabilities, much like those Tuskegee Airmen who made this opportunity capable for those of us who serve today,” said Clayton. “If children don’t get information from their home or their surroundings, how are they going to get it? “
This event gave students the opportunity to speak with Airmen in the career fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and learn more about available TAI resources such as scholarships. studies at the local and grassroots community.
Technology. Sgt. Terrell Cole, 60th Maintenance Group facilities program manager and chapter vice president Lee A. Archer Jr. says that by preparing today’s youth through STEM tours and scholarships, we are creating an understanding evolved from the fundamentals of the Air Force and the progressive advancement of our service made to remain the world’s largest and strongest air force.
Cole further explained that the program aims to reach the families who could benefit the most from it.
“A lot of people just can’t afford school or books; this scholarship will have a positive effect on their future to equip them with what they need to be successful, ”said Cole.
Each chapter can submit five applicants for a scholarship which is normally $ 1,500, each with five tuition assistance fund offers of $ 1,000 per year.
“TAI is an organization that exists to keep the memory of Tuskegee Airmen alive – to keep their legacy alive,” Cole said. “The lesson we learned from the Tuskegee airmen is that no matter what the odds, we can overcome them.”
Cole said the Tuskegee Airmen are a big reason he serves today.
“We have to remember the Tuskegee Airmen because they proved that you don’t have to believe other people’s opinions about you,” Clayton said. “For me, it’s about taking their example and using it today to show kids that you don’t have to be defeated, there are opportunities.”
For more information on how to get involved with the TAI program and the Lee A. Archer Jr. chapter, visit https://tuskegeeairmravisafb.org/ and https://www.tuskegeeairmen.org