MEMPHIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, TN --
The 164th Airlift Wing gave tours to three groups of kids and adults Dec. 3, 2016.
The groups were touring the base to show the youths the opportunities they can have in their live.
"My motto is to keep looking up, so my hope is to provide an opportunity to see the different things they can do and they can be in their lives," said Thelma Rudd, Chief Executive Officer of A Taste of Aviation. "I want them to see people like you and know they can be successful in their lives."
A Taste of Aviation is a non-profit organization that offers youth and adults an introduction and exposure to the aviation and aerospace industries.
"We want to introduce aerospace and aviation to young people and to adults because our whole thoughts are no matter where you are in life, that you'll keep looking up." said Rudd.
"We do adults as well, that's why you see a mixture of adults here. And our long term goal is to do a Saturday flight school for senior citizens, because a lot of time people 55 and 65 years or older will not have any idea of how an airplane flies and know nothing about the airport." said Rudd.
Parents who wish to find out more information about A Taste of Aviation can contact Ms. Rudd via their website tasteofaviation.org.
The non-profit group was joined by the Sea Cadet Corps, a mentorship program from the United States Navy. The Sea Cadet Corps is a nationwide program that allows youth 10-17 years of age to experience military training.
"We have summer trainings where the cadets can go through their boot camp training and advanced training after that." Said Lt. Cmdr. Yancey Black, USN Sea Cadet Corps Commanding officer in Naval Support Activity-Mid South, Millington. "And if they have interest to go to the coast guard trainings where they'll have opportunity to train with the coast guard."
The visiting groups were also joined by a local Cub Scout troop.
Programs like this are important for today's youth said Capt. Conger, the Executive Officer of the 164th AW, assisted with setting up tours for the groups.
"Being a father of four myself, I look for opportunities within the community to broaden the knowledge of the child to what opportunities are around them in the private sector and what interests they may have. To be able to give them a tool to further their knowledge and career." said Conger.
By becoming a part of the Sea Cadet Corps, members can enter the armed services at a higher rank.
"Cadets entering the military from this program may receive an advanced rate up to an E-3 with the navy and E-2 in the other military branches." Says Black. "It's mentoring. To give them better citizenship, patriotism, and college. To stay in college and make better choices. And hopefully they'll leave the program at 18 and stay in college."
Information about the Sea Cadet Corps can be found at www.seacadets.org