Too much free time during the summer months isn't necessarily a good thing for some teens. But a local aviation program is helping one group set its sights high.
It's another example of What's Right in our community.
'A Different Point of View' is an aviation-based program that works to instill confidence, leadership and life skills for local teens.
The three year old non-profit helps inspire young adults who are in danger of losing their way.
Once the teens complete the weekend aviation careeer program, the students are referred to other organizations to help with mentoring, including Academy of Healing Arts (AHA) and the Santa Barbara Teen Coalition.
Participants are referred by more than a handful of local agencies that include Santa Barbara County's probabtion department, Peoples' Self Help Housing and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA).
For three days each month, the teens meet with instructors and mentors who
focus on leadership skills, problem solving, and flight training.
When financially feasible, the teens' families are included in a range of additional activities that include an afternoon of sailing or a lecture through UCSB's Arts and Lectures.
"It's fun," said Luis Santos, a student and mentor. "You come here, volunteer, get a lecture about how the program works, how a plane works, how life works and then get to go up in the sky and fly for like an hour. Fun," he said.
The course has students interacting with all aspects of the airline industry, from captains and flight attendants to airplane mechanics.
"When we go on the plane, I'll get more experience," said Haley Ramis. "Then I'll probably later in life think about getting my pilot's license and stuff."
Lynn Houston, founder of the non profit said, "We work to match each student with a mentor, depending on the teen's interest or talent."
For example, if a teen has a love of art, Houston will help connect them with Youth Interactive, an art program in the Funk Zone.
The program is geared for twelve students each month, ages 15 to 18. Scholarships are available. Houston said $11,000 in scholarships were given during the June session.
For more information, visit ADifferentPointofView.org or call (805) 698-6784.