Dream Flight Charities is aiming to make the exciting world of aviation even more accessible to students throughout the Commonwealth. Over the course of the past few months, students from school districts in Boyle and Taylor County have participated in discovery flight events, with three students already awarded flight training scholarships by the charity.
A developing non-profit, Dream Flight Charities seeks to help students achieve their dreams both within and outside of the cockpit, enabling Kentuckiana’s youth through a shared passion for all things aviation related, along with a commitment to making a positive impact in local communities that will last a lifetime. Formed during the earlier part of 2021, the charity recently received their non-profit designation from the IRS, allowing them to pursue funding in order to continue removing barriers from Kentucky’s growing aviation community.
“While these students will be learning to manage and pilot aircraft, our charity hopes to make an impact in the lives of our state’s youth in a more wholistic way,” says charity director and Campbellsville native, Drew Underwood. “We truly believe that the milestone this opportunity presents to students will help them dream bigger and overcome the many additional hurdles that are an inevitable part of life.”
In addition to their ground and flight school experience, students who were awarded flight training scholarships this past fall also participated in a financial stewardship course. “We’re looking to connect with other like-minded organizations and volunteers, operating as a hub of sorts that will connect students with resources and encouragement that will carry on beyond the cockpit. We also want to bring awareness to Kentucky’s aviation industry and highlight it as a viable option for those entering the workforce,” Underwood continued.
Recent industry reports place Kentucky 2nd nationally in aviation and aerospace-related exports, with a total value in goods nearing $10.85 billion. Kentucky is also home to more than 640 businesses within the aerospace and aviation cluster, accounting for over 17,500 jobs and around $1 billion in earnings and is the only state to house three major air freight logistics companies. Still, the workforce within the industry is aging, with statistics showing a far from diverse representation.
“We want to remove as many barriers as possible for students from every walk of life. Whether they end up pursuing a career as a commercial pilot or help engineer the next advancements within the aviation world, helping students overcome that initial hurdle is bound to set them up for larger things in the near future,” says Underwood.
Dream Flight Charities is currently developing a year-end giving campaign will be accepting donations soon through their website at www.dreamflightcharities.org. More information can be provided by calling Drew Underwood at 270.849.5765.