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December 2015 Bulletin

December 2015 Bulletin

December 15, 2015

Air Races 2015

No amount of strategizing, planning, and hoping truly prepared us for the recent Reno Air Races. Launching the “Aviation Learning Center” concept was a leap of faith, albeit a well-planned one at that. In the end, the week-long event was a tremendous success.

Thanks to outstanding financial support, starting with the E.L. Cord Foundation; incredible leadership, thanks to the Pathways board and volunteers; and, valuable endorsement, caps off to the Washoe County School District – we flew right past our goals and expectations.

Highlights of the week included:

  • 3,175 field trip participants
  • 36 classes conducted (Aircraft, Rocketry, Space Exploration, and Drones)
  • 40 total schools (from Nevada, California, and Utah)
  • 1 long, incredible Careers in Aviation workshop
  • 10 presentations in the Checkered Flag Club
  • 1 Survivor’s Dinner
  • Another outstanding NAHI Awards Competition and Awards Ceremony
  • Thousands upon thousands of visitors

We’re thankful to the many volunteers and supporters, who gave this “dream” a chance to be more than a success.

Aviation Learning Center 2016 – Are you ready!?

Feedback was so positive following the Reno Air Races, we’ve already begun plans for next year. Response from a Field Trip Survey, which assessed field trip participants, was all we needed to put the wheels in motion for next year.

Aside from minor adjustments and maybe the implementation of a couple big ideas, the Aviation Learning Center will, once again, serve as the “educational” hub of the Reno Air Races. We’re designing the layout, recruiting speakers, and organizing volunteers as we speak.

If you’re interested in serving on the planning committee and/or volunteering in the Center at next year’s Reno Air Races, let us know. Simply click here and sign up as a volunteer today!

Fun Fact – 10 schools, totaling 1,125 participants are already registered to for field trips to next year’s Reno Air Races!

General Assessment Results – The Public Has Spoken!

Soon after the Reno Air Races, we conducted an assessment of our supporters and friends. The survey coincided with a vision process, conducted by the Pathways to Aviation board of trustees. We conduct one every two years to stay sharp, strategic, and properly positioned for the future. Growth, impact, and sustainability are very important to this organization.

Here are a few highlights, as shared by our constituents:

  • 93% feel that the Foundation is fulfilling its mission
  • 76% believe the mission statement is clear
  • 86% like the way the mission statement reads
  • 100% of responders want to support the organization through time, insight, or dollar

We were ecstatic to learn what people believe to be the most outstanding strengths of the Foundation. Responses included:

  • A local leader in promoting aviation to young people.
  • Access to unique aviation experiences.
  • Exposure to careers in the aviation field for students.
  • Passion – Dedication – Purpose
  • Immediately addresses the needs and interests of the schools.
  • Stays cutting edge and opens new horizons for the future.
  • Deeply seeded in the aviation community.
  • Brand recognition.
  • Great leadership.

We’re still collecting feedback per the assessment. If you’re interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas, click here to participate in a quest to enhance our vision and programs.

Upcoming Events – You’re Invited!

You’re invited to join us at the following events…the first being tomorrow night!

Wednesday, December 2 – 5:00pm
Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority – GAMS Workshop
The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority and its stakeholders group, the CEO Advisory Group, are hosting a public workshop on the evening of December 2 in the River Room of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority staff and CEO Advisory Group members will present both the current language and proposed changes to the current General Aviation Commercial Minimum Standards. Attendees will be invited to share input on the proposed changes. The data will enable the Group to reconvene for review and revision prior to presenting final recommendations to the RTAA CEO.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 – 6:00pm
Pathways to Aviation Speakers’ Forum
Preserving aviation’s past and fostering aviation’s future are goals of the annual Pathways to Aviation Speakers Forum, taking place on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 from 6pm-9pm at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Joe Crowley Student Union Milt Glick Ballroom. The public is invited to attend the free event. The annual speakers’ forum is a program of the Reno Air Racing Foundation (doing business as Pathways to Aviation), which provides funding and support to educational and historical initiatives enhancing air racing, aviation, and aerospace. Click here to RSVP in advance

Our Commitment to Aviation

The Foundation meets its mission of supporting education and heritage through programs and unique initiatives. These include:

Grant Support – The Foundation is proud to work with local non-profit organizations on behalf of northern Nevada’s youth. By collaborating with groups that share our aviation-related educational focus, we are able to pool our resources, and focus on our common goals of motivating local students to pursue careers in aviation and air racing. The Foundation has allocated funds specifically for distribution through a grant application process to support aviation related programs in our community.

Student Scholarships – The support of budding aviation enthusiasts is important to people who have themselves developed and expressed a love of aviation through participation and appreciation. One way we can support young people who share our passion for flight is through the support of aviation scholarship opportunities. We manage the Brigadier General Fred L. Michel Aviation Scholarship, which was established in the Fall of 2007 to honor Brigadier General Fred L. Michel and to assist Nevada youth in the pursuit of aviation careers.

Special Events – The Foundation organizes or endorses multiple events each year, including:

  1. Aviation Learning Center (at the Reno Air Races)
  2. Pathways to Aviation Speakers’ Forum

Unique Initiatives – We’re currently working on the following initiatives.

  • STEM education pilot program (incorporating aviation in K-12 curriculum)
  • Career Mentoring (connection with aviation experts)
  • Speakers Network (speakers located throughout the United States)
  • Career connections (job board, career coaching)

Building relationships, creating collaborations, and designing initiatives are constantly taking place with Pathways to Aviation. You are invited to Join Our Crew as a volunteer or donor!

Invest in the Future of Aviation

As the 2015 calendar year comes to a close, the Foundation is focusing on three simple, yet critical funding needs:

  1. Professional development of local school teachers to be able to access the new aviation curriculum.
  2. Planning the 2016 Speakers’ Forum, taking place in early April.
  3. Initiatives designed to introduce aviation to young men and women, provide scholarships, and implementing new strategic goals.

By Joining the Foundation, you’ll help:

  • Present aviation to students;
  • Provide more scholarships to those pursuing  careers in aviation;
  • Serve as a strong career connector;
  • Create more jobs in Nevada;
  • Impact more outstanding aviation-related non-profit organizations and activities;
  • Foster great appreciation for vintage aircraft;
  • Replicate the aviation curriculum to all schools in Nevada.

Click here to see our funding goals – and make a donation.



The Reno Air Racing Foundation, a 501c3 doing business as Pathways to Aviation, encourages and supports young men and women to pursue studies and careers in aviation, aerospace and aeronautics; perpetuates the memory and spirit of aircraft, general aviation and air racing and their places in history; and, to promotes and establishes relationships with organizations that share and support our common purpose.


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