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-The Monterey County Gives! team.
"Using the Power of Flight To Change Lives"
The Bob Hoover Academy creates opportunities that inspire under-served teens to get engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education and to take flight in aviation. Aviation is a metaphor for the deeper mission, which is to capture students' minds, focus their energies, and to cultivate success in the classroom and in life.
Our school’s aviation education tools and equipment are housed in a World War II hangar at the Salinas Airport, in a space provided by the Monterey County Office of Education. Our newest addition in the hangar is a donated Cessna four-seater maintenance/project airplane, intended for student mechanic training. However, since we’ve almost tripled our student population from 12 to 35 in the last 7 months, we have decided to supplement our current two-seater aircraft by fully refurbishing the donated four-seater, which will also enable us to accommodate additional students on each flight as back-seat observers. In order to bring it to airworthiness and safety standards, it will need to be completely refurbished: engine, propeller, avionics, interior, and exterior. Under the supervision of an FAA-Certified Aviation Technician/Inspector, the students will choose all the new components, interior upholstery, and exterior paint scheme. It will proudly become THEIR airplane!
As a 2016 graduate of the Bob Hoover Academy, I know firsthand the power of this school. Upon graduation, I attended a community college and became an FAA-Certified Aircraft Maintenance Technician, and was immediately recruited by major aviation companies to work for them. I currently repair and maintain various models of jumbo jet aircraft for a worldwide corporation. Throughout this period, I pursued advanced flight training and recently became a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor. I now volunteer at the Bob Hoover Academy as a mentor, aircraft maintainer, and flight instructor during my off-duty hours to pay it forward. I have also taken on the aircraft refurbishment project for which the Bob Hoover Academy is seeking donations to fund the refurbishment of our donated airplane to make it airworthy again. I will guide our students, who will get hands-on experience rebuilding the airplane’s structure, engine, avionics, interior design, and external paint.
- Martin Mendez