DETROIT (FOX 2) - Friday was a special day at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History thanks to a federal grant of half a million dollars to help teach Detroit students how to become pilots.
Over summer break, students will get a chance to learn about three areas of aviation: flying planes, piloting drones, and aerospace engineering with the possibility of some having a pilot's license by the fall.
Kids as young as ten can begin in the aerospace engineering program and start building rockets and drones. Students between 14 and 16 are taught to fly glider planes and, at 16, you can start making good money by obtaining a drone license.
"That means you can go out and get money from people who want you to take pictures of their buildings, crops, pipelines, crowds. there's a lot of first responder work using drones. so there are many opportunities and almost 6 figure salaries at 18,"
The programs at the school are life-changing. Brandon Jones is a graduate and grew up watching Northwest Airlines fly planes over his house at 7 Mile and Livernois. Now he's an instructor at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
"Showing more youth, that if you can fly an airplane, solo an airplane, no matter what you go into. if you can solo at 16. the world is in your hands," Jones said.
The programs were founded on the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the gorup of African American military pilots who fought in WWII and were the first to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
They received praise for their excellent combat record - and now the future if bright for the upcoming generation.
Detroit is the only site in Michigan selected to receive the award.
If you have a child who is interested in getting enrolled, check out tuskegeemuseum.org.