In 2018, as part of the newly formed Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship Program (EAP) the students of GEC were invited to take part in the Young Eagles program, whose mission is to introduce children to the world of aviation. At that time, Jocelyn and Julian weren’t ready to take part. They were not emotionally prepared. Fast-forward to Summer 2022 and these same children, were eager and ready to take flight thanks to the confidence the S.M.A.R.T. Program has given them.

They had the chance to learn about aviation and learn on flight simulators before taking to the skies in a real plane.

The pilot let them take the controls and fly the plane themselves. Jocelyn was so moved and had such an amazing experience, she has committed, to continue with flying lessons and explore the world of aviation as a career.

These seemingly small experiences left HUGE impacts on these children. None of this would be possible without the funding the S.M.A.R.T. and EAP Programs the center receives from the Naples Children and Education Foundation and the NCEF partner organizations.