On Saturday, November 12, the nonprofit A Different Point of View held a BBQ Fundraiser at Above All Aviation at the Santa Barbara Airport to raise funds for its aviation education and mentoring programs.
About 150 guests came by to enjoy the tri-tip and chicken barbecue. After the meal, this event skipped the usual speeches and dance band and instead offered the much more exciting options of experiencing a full motion flight simulator or taking a flight lesson in a Cessna 150 or 172. Even this society columnist got to experience the flight simulator and what an incredibly realistic and exciting experience it was. Guided by a professional pilot in the adjacent seat, the student receives instruction on all of the instrumentation and gets to take off, fly for miles over the scenic Santa Barbara area and then line up the plane with the runway and land the plane all by him or herself. This experience would surely thrill most any teen (or adult).
Major sponsors of the event included Above All Aviation and the Williams-Corbett Foundation.
Founder and president Lynn Houston, a pilot herself, was on hand along with many other aviation industry professionals who volunteer with a Different Point of View (ADPV). Founded in 2011, this all-volunteer organization has as its mission “to engage, inspire and transform youth using flight lessons as a launching pad.”
Houston, who has been an actor, a Hollywood photographer, a chief pilot of a flight school and a captain for an airline, credits her successes to her belief in her ability to succeed in the world, a belief that was instilled in her by her parents. She wants to instill that sense of confidence in every teen that comes to ADPV.
She believes that flying should not be for the privileged few because it has been the most powerful experience she has ever had. She wants to expose the world of aviation to any teen willing to enter the program.
The organization’s main program is the Aviation Career Program, a three-day program of professional flight instruction for youth ages 14-19. It uses a Cessna 172 and full motion simulator training. The program also includes leadership and self-awareness training and the opportunity to interact with pilots, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics, airport operators and other aviation professionals. Teens come away with a taste of how to fly a plane, a knowledge of aviation careers, and greater self-esteem. There is a sliding scale fee structure, with a fee of as little as $50 for those who qualify.
About 15-30 students attend the Aviation Career Program each year. Some participate pursuant to a mandate from a judge or probation officer, others hear about the program from different nonprofit groups serving area youth.
ADPV offers “Discovery Days” about once per month which most recently featured a trip to the Granada Theatre to hear UCSB’s Arts & Lectures presentation by astronaut Scott Kelly who spent a year in space. Earlier this fall, the students visited Vandenberg Air Force Base for the launch of the Atlas V Rocket.
ADPV also has a mentorship program that operates throughout the year which helps students with schoolwork and provides career guidance. It also helps connect families with needed resources.
The nonprofit receives no government funding.
For more information about A Different Point of View, go to adifferentpointofview.org
If you have an event that you would like to see in this column, you may contact Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Gail Arnold