Tuskegee NEXT Red Tail Ball propels next generation of pilots

  • Tuskegee NEXT Executive Director Sanura Young addresses the audience while past program graduates look on. Tuskegee NEXT has certified 27 new pilots since 2014, with 15 more slated for 2019.

    Tuskegee NEXT Executive Director Sanura Young addresses the audience while past program graduates look on. Tuskegee NEXT has certified 27 new pilots since 2014, with 15 more slated for 2019. Courtesy of LeVern A. Danley III, LAD4 Creations

 
Submitted by Tuskegee NEXT
Updated 5/3/2019 7:45 PM

More than 400 people from across the Chicago area packed the Planemasters Hangar at DuPage Airport on Saturday, April 27, for the third annual Red Tail Ball in support of Tuskegee NEXT, a national pilot training program for at-risk youth. The black-tie fundraiser had a "Midnight in Morocco" theme, including the opportunity to get a selfie next to a special visitor, an Arabian camel.

Based in West Chicago and named in honor of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen, Tuskegee NEXT has certified 27 new pilots since its inception in 2014.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Fifteen more pilots will graduate from the program this fall.

Events like the Red Tail Ball enable Tuskegee NEXT to continue grooming a diverse pipeline of new aviators at a time when the demand for pilots is expected to grow exponentially over the next few decades.

At this year's Red Tail Ball, they presented the Milton Williams Jr./Popovich Memorial Scholarship to the following students: Jada Roberson, Praise Wright, Naftali Mora, Isaias Toledo and Carolyn Bailey.

These students have a strong interest in aviation and aerospace careers. They will receive training in the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals Solo Flight Training Program and will have the opportunity to develop their skills as a step toward becoming Tuskegee NEXT cadets.

Another highlight was the presentation of the second annual Tuskegee NEXT Trailblazer Award.

This distinguished award is given in recognition of a lifetime commitment to embody the spirit of the Tuskegee Airmen: determination, excellence, perseverance and integrity. The award honors distinguished leadership in breaking down barriers, increasing access, and providing new opportunities for all people. This year's Trailblazer Award went to Captain Albert T. Glenn, a retired FedEx 777 pilot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

From mentoring younger pilots to leading aviation education programs, Captain Glenn has shared his zeal for flying and the commercial airliner cockpit, where fewer than two percent of American pilots are African-American.

This summer, join the first Future of Flight Servpro Golf Outing fundraiser on Friday, Aug. 2, at the Arlington Lakes Golf Club, 1211 S. New Wilke Road, Arlington Heights. Registration will be 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by the shotgun start at noon. Dinner will be 5 to 7 p.m., with raffles from 6 to 7 p.m.

To reserve your spot for golf or to get details on sponsorship opportunities, contact Jim Frangella at (708) 240-4873 or james@servpro9781.com.

Visit www.tuskegeenext.org or www.facebook.com/Tuskegeenext/.