PHOTO: Jaylen, my wife Karissa, me, and our daughter Kyla at a NASA robotics competition this past summer.

My name is Dwight Palmer. Earlier this year you heard from my son, Jaylen. I wanted to take a moment today to tell you a little more about our family and about Airway Science for Kids.

When Jaylen was about 8 or 9, he told his mother and I, he wanted to be a pilot.  Neither of us have an aviation background – so while we were excited, we were also surprised – and we had no idea how to support his desire. 

Not too long after that, I was talking to a friend and the topic came up.  She mentioned Airway Science for Kids and told me this organization has a classroom right here in our neighborhood – at PCC in North Portland. 

It was a no brainer – we signed Jaylen up immediately!

That was just about seven years ago… and to this day, I continue to be blown away by what Airway Science for Kids is doing in what was once the heart of Portland’s black community.

I grew up right here in North Portland and still live here with my family. Let me tell you something, it’s amazing to be able to tell folks about the amazing work ASK, Inc. is doing here in our neighborhood.

I laugh with delight when I tell people my son is building real airplanes right here on North Mississippi Avenue.

And, I am proud to tell people that my daughter is learning about drone technology at PCC through Airway Science for Kids across the street from Jefferson High School … my high school alma mater!

Airway Science for Kids opens young people who have historically not been connected to STEAM programs to enter a field that they otherwise may not have known was an option because they don’t know how or where to get the training they needed.

AND… most kids don’t have to travel outside of their own neighborhood to be exposed to the amazing world of aviation.

This piece is very important to me because when the resources are outside your neighborhood the message is: “this is not for you” or “you are not worthy”. 

By keeping the program in this community, it lets kids know that they are valued and capable of learning — and that others want to invest in their potential. 

I asked Jaylen if there was something he wanted to add. Here’s what he had to say,

“I don’t know what got me into aviation, but what I do know is I am hooked for life. Airway Science for Kids has provided a pathway for me to continue to grow in this field.

From after school time at PCC learning about the fundamentals of flight to going to the Air Way Science for Kids building on N. Mississippi so we can work on building an airplane… this program has been incredible. It has encouraged me to keep on going towards my goal!”

Well, his mother and I couldn’t be prouder of him and his sister. We want to thank you for being a supporter of such an important and incredible program.

From my family to yours, thank you,

Dwight Palmer

P.S. Airway Science for Kids has become so important to our family that this last year, when the opportunity presented itself, I accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors.  Our family is all in – but this amazing program can’t continue without financial support from folks like you. Please, take a moment today to contribute $1,000, $500. $250 or whatever you can afford.