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Houston’s Aviation Club Gets
First Place Award

July 5, 2013

© Houston Airport System
The Houston Airports Aviation Club is already an award-winning program in its first year of existence.
Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) recently recognized the Houston Airport System (HAS) Aviation Club in their annual Excellence in Airport Marketing and Communications Contest. The Aviation Club took home first place in the Aviation Education and Tour Program category.

“ACI-NA congratulates the winners of the 2013 Excellence in Airport Marketing and Communications Contest, and we truly appreciate the quality of entries that we received across all categories this year,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato.  “The creativity and imagination exhibited by this year’s entries clearly demonstrate that airports continue to innovate how they share the message of their economic importance to the communities they serve.”

The Aviation Club was launched in October 2012 and is designed to encourage Houston’s young people pursue their dream of careers in aviation and aerospace. Through this mentorship program the ultimate goal is to build a new workforce to accept the challenges for tomorrow’s aviation and aerospace jobs. The effort to groom students for a bright future is essential to a strong Houston.

The students in the first class of the Aviation Club were matched with recruited mentors who attend meetings and support students during the entire school year. The mentors follow the students from graduation into college and upon graduation with the hope of offering full-time work within the Houston aviation and aerospace community.

“If your career path lies in the field of aviation, then you have your efforts rewarded in very personal and heartfelt ways,” says Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. “Airports help to bring families closer together. They allow businesses to move their products and ideas in a more efficient manner and airports serve as gateway facilities for entire cities. You get a tremendous sense of satisfaction when your work is actually improving the lives of people.”

The Aviation Club launched at two area high schools to offer students meetings for learning, enrichment and mentoring activities. The club was grown through membership drives at the schools.

The program has the following criteria:

-  Membership is open to Houston Independent School District (HISD) school students from Sterling High School or 
   Carnegie Vanguard High School campuses in grades 9-12.
-  Students must be in good standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
-  Students must maintain a satisfactory attendance at meetings throughout the year.
-  Students must have a desire and passion for exploring post-secondary educational and career opportunities in
   aerospace and aviation.

Numerous community groups participate and support the Aviation Club. Sponsors include Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Texas Southern University, San Jacinto College, Lone Star College, Houston Independent School District, Sterling High School, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, NASA-Johnson Space Center and the City of Houston.

The program accepted 65 students in the first year. A grassroots effort began to secure scholarships for the club members who graduated in 2012 with a result of four students each receiving $2,600 scholarships.

The success of the club in the first year has resulted in a plan to expand it to more schools in the coming school year. 
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