Sandston, Virginia Saturday February 2, 2019, Upsilon Nu Omega Academy Mentoring program, was in full session with aviation. Program Chairman Brother Patrick Patrong and members of the committee and other chapter brothers, took the mentees to Richmond International Airport. Richmond International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport about 7 miles southeast of downtown Richmond. One of the modules of the mentoring program is to introduce the kids to types of careers they may have not thought about and hopefully spark interest.

The students were the first group to be part of the inaugural program, where the Richmond Airport provides tours of the facility. The students got change to actually see a Black Hawk helicopter maneuver and land. They were able to go aboard and strap in while being given a presentation on the helicopter and some of its capabilities. I was excited as much as the kids, when I saw the Black Hawk come flying in, it was really cool, stated Brother Donald Bentley. There was an added treat for the students, they got to sit in the Black Hawk and touch the controls of one of the most powerful air vehicles in the world. Members of the staff welcomed the kids and they were briefed about our mentoring program, which delighted them. During sessions the staff stressed to the kids the importance of school and the opportunities that can be available if they are prepared. The students asked them questions about how much flying does the staff do and how did they learned to fly.

One of the staff Mr. Charles Woodson told the students he used to be afraid of heights, but when he traveled with his family he always wanted to sit by the window and look at the clouds. This brought a laugh from the students. Mr. Woodson told the kids that the Black Hawk cost $5.9 million to build and named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk. The students got really excited about the opportunity to fly some of the drones and see how they were assembled. This trip is one of the many the students will have during the mentoring program.