Children of law enforcement officers are now eligible to participate in the Teens-In-Flight program.
In response to the recent shootings of law enforcement officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Colonel Jack D. Howell II, United States Marine Corps (Ret.) announced the expansion of the Teens-In-Flight program to include teenagers of law enforcement families.
“I am very close to law enforcement, and after the police officers were shot I thought, ‘I’ve got to include these kids,” the program’s founder, Howell said. “This is a National program, and I can do that. I have the ways and means to do it.”
The eligibility will be the same as it has been for the children of military parents: Teenagers who have had a parent or sibling, killed or severely injured while on active duty.
“The tragic ambush and shootings of law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana have left a significant ugly scar on the freedoms of our country,” Howell said.
Since 2008 more than 100 teens have enrolled in the program, providing the participants an opportunity to earn, at no cost, a private pilot’s license. Teens-In-Flight uses aviation as a conduit to help the teens overcome their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“I focus on life skills. I run it like when I taught Jr.ROTC,” Howell said. “These are high school kids and it’s the first time they are really held accountable.”
Howell admitted that he has intentionally “sabatoged” aircraft to make sure the students weren’t missing anything during their preflight checks. If they missed something, Howell would point it out .
“If you run out of gas on the highway, you can pull over and call mom or dad to bring you some,” he said. “You can’t do that in the air.”
Many of the students who have completed the course continue on to college, with scholarships. Several have attended ERAU.
For more information, call, 569-5685. The office is at 201 Airport Rd, Suite 1, at the Flagler County Airport off State Road 100, www.teens-in-flight.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/teensinflight.
Program eligibility requirements are:
1000 word essay on "Why I want to Fly"
Age 13 and older with 2.5 GPA or higher
Recommendation from School Principal/Superintendent