Inglewood Unified Students Co-Pilot Airplanes During Summer Program at National Flight Academy

Inglewood Unified students strapped into flight simulators and learned about aviation using virtual reality games during a six-day trip to the National Flight Academy (NFA) in Pensacola, Florida, where they experienced the science of flying.

Through partnerships with the Hawthorne and Inglewood Teen Centers, the South Bay Workforce Investment Board (SBWIB) sponsored seven students from the Inglewood Unified School District and Centinela Valley Union High School District to experience the NFA.

The participants at the NFA were selected from a pool of students who attended a June 27 – July 15 SBWIB engineering and computer science program at California State University of Los Angeles. The National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) is a no-cost program for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that introduces careers in transportation.

Three students represented Inglewood Unified: Mahdy Morris, a junior from Inglewood High School, along with Ruth Hamilton and Bezawit Danna, both juniors from City Honors International Preparatory School.

“This was the experience of a lifetime,” Morris said. “I don’t think a lot of high school students get to fly an airplane, so for me that is something special that I get to say I accomplished.”

These programs are designed to introduce students to all modes of transportation-related careers and encourage them to pursue transportation-related courses of study at the college and university level.

“This was an incredible opportunity for our students, and one that will unlock new possibilities in their lives,” State Administrator Dr. Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana said. “Through partnerships like these our students will continue to blossom through unique experiences that broaden their horizons.”