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Help Your Kids’ Dreams Take Flight!

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WrightBrothersIt’s a bird, it’s a plane…no it’s…National Aviation Day! First recognized on August 19, 1939 by presidential proclamation, this special day not only commemorates the birth of Orville Wright, but the origins of the aeronautics industry. Now, I admit that I know nothing about planes, helicopters, or space shuttles…and maybe just a little bit about UFOs (the truth is out there). My aeronautical (that’s a word right?) prowess is limited to the design, construction and piloting of paper airplanes that can fly an impressive 3 or so feet before taking a nose-crushing dive to the floor. Despite all of this, I am still captivated every time I see a plane fly overhead. I marvel at what an incredible feat of imagination, engineering, and dedication it was on the part those early aviation pioneers who defied the conventional wisdom that flight was a fantasy best left “for the birds.”

But beyond the celebration of aviation, this special observance is also the perfect reminder of the importance of talking with your kids about their goals for the future, so that their dreams might one day take flight. Kids are full of ideas, and while some are much more realistic than others, no dream should be discouraged. Just think, if the Wright Brothers hadn’t had their heads in the clouds, who knows what the state of aviation would look like today; it might be about as advanced as my fleet of paper airplanes. The school year has already started for some, and is fast approaching for the rest of us. So I’d like to challenge everyone to take a little time to sit down with their little ones and talk about their dreams for the next week, next school year and beyond. Then, periodically check-in with them to see what you can be doing to support them in achieving these dreams.

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Since we started out talking about planes, I suppose I should wrap up with a little plug for the aerospace industry. Here goes:

Does your child have a passion for planes and dream of working in the industry? Our parent agency, the Washington Student Achievement Council, has an awesome program designed to help budding aerospace enthusiasts overcome financial barriers that may stand in the way of their dreams. The Aerospace Loan Program provides low-interest school loans to Washington students who’ve been accepted into the Washington Aerospace Training and Research Center Program in Everett. This mutually beneficial program was created to provide students with a pathway to the aerospace industry and help meet the growing industry need for skilled employees.

On top of that, after completing the program, your child will be prepared to answer tough questions like “What kind of plane is it?” Hopefully they’ll be able to come up with a better answer than mine, which sounds a lot like the description that Johnny in the movie “Airplane” gave news reporters when asked that question: “Oh, it’s a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.”

Pro Tip: Regardless of what your children want to be when they grow up, the Museum of Flight is a must see the next time you’re in the Seattle area. The impressive exhibits are bursting with opportunities to learn and be inspired. Proceed with caution, as minds are likely to be blown!

Written by Lucas Minor

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