Texas Southern University Encourages Youngsters to “Reach for the Stars”

Texas Southern University (TSU) is a major supporter of the Houston Airport System Aviation Club, a new collaborative effort to broaden the number of young people who reach for the stars in careers in aviation and aerospace.

“Texas Southern University is very excited to be part of the initiative to create the Aviation Club, a workforce pipeline not only for the aviation field, but also for the STEM fields in general, which are so critical to our national economy and security,” said Dr. Lei Yu, dean and professor of the College of Science and Technology for Texas Southern University.

Founded in fall 2012, the Houston Airport System will sponsor the new Aviation Club at two high school chapters, Sterling High School and Carnegie Vanguard High School.

During the two-hour sessions with the Aviation Club, students are meeting on a monthly basis to participate in learning, enrichment and mentoring activities.  The students interested in participating in the program must meet the following program criteria:

  • Membership is open to HISD high 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 satisfactory attendance at meetings throughout the year.
  • Students have a desire and passion for exploring post secondary educational and career opportunities in aerospace or aviation.

Houston Airport System Director of Aviation Mario C. Diaz had a vision to launch the Aviation Club during the school year of 2012 in Houston as a means to plant seeds for future generations to enter aviation and aerospace as a career. Diaz dreamed of aviation when he was growing up in New York and found early exposure to the industry to become critical for his career path.

 “This is exactly what our youth need as they mature and pursues their dreams through higher education.  It is what our nation needs as we strive to remain on the forefront of aviation and aerospace.”

Numerous community groups accepted the invitation from the Houston Airport System to participate and support the new Aviation Club. The list of sponsors includes the following: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, San Jacinto College, Lone Star College, Houston Independent School District (College and Career Readiness), Sterling High School, Carnegie Vanguard High School, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership and City of Houston.

One of the ultimate goals of the new program is to build a new workforce to accept the challenges for tomorrow’s aviation and aerospace jobs. Houston continues to lead the nation in the creation of new jobs during a difficult economy. The effort to groom students for a bright future is essential to a strong Houston.

“Houston’s legacy as a world leader in aerospace jobs will continue with the development of this exciting and innovative community outreach to the next generation,” Said Mayor Annise Parker. “By creating the spark in the minds of young people, we ensure that ‘Space City’ will continue to change the world as an economic driver in the aviation and aerospace industries.”

The Aviation Club is expected to be expanded to additional schools in the 2013 school year.