Bay Area STEM program helps disadvantaged teens take dreams to new heights
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - At the North Tampa Aero Park in Wesley Chapel, a group of teens is helping to restore a Cessna 172. It’s part of a program called Infinity Aeroclub, a non-profit organization dedicated to exposing teens to aviation.
"It’s service to the community," explained Ricardo Foster, president of Infinity Aeroclub. "Business and aviation. It started with aviation first and that’s where the kids come in. We’re trying to expose all kids, disadvantaged especially, to the aviation career field."
Foster says money is often a big barrier and his organization provides access to aircraft, simulators, drones and a group of volunteers.
"My ultimate dream is to give every child an opportunity to know that aviation, flying, a career in aviation engineering is possible. A lot of kids that look like me or are living in poor neighborhoods don’t have that. I want to expose them to aviation. Get them flying. Get them interested," Foster shared.
Samuel Jones, 16, has been with the program for approximately 10 months and wants to pursue a career as a mechanical engineer and a pilot. He says he’s learned a lot through the program and is grateful for the opportunity.
Infinity AeroClub is a STEM program that promotes science, technology, engineering and
math. Foster says it teaches value and teens who don’t want to strive for a career in aviation
find it beneficial.