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For years, Ramone Crowe has shown students what opportunities await them on the ground and at thousands of feet in the sky.

He recently spearheaded a new chapter in his volunteer work with his launch of a summer Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy

(https://www.faa.gov/education/ace_academy/) , in partnership with Eastern Michigan University and the Ypsilanti Community School District in Ypsilanti, Mich. A group of 11 participants from the Western Detroit Metro Area attended the camp, which exposed them to careers in aviation and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related fields.

“The overall goal is to increase exposure to women and minorities and other underrepresented groups,” said Crowe, program manager for the FAA’s AJW-1X, NAS Integration and Support Group. “We want to spark their interest in aviation so that they will pursue those careers.”

During the five-day camp, held July 30 to Aug. 3, students received an up-close look at the field of flying through a schedule of activities, including orientation flights in motor gliders used to train the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots in the U.S. military. Participants received lessons in aviation history and met FAA volunteers and other professionals from the aviation and aerospace community. The week included tours of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport Air Traffic Tower and Radar Room, a presentation by the Willow Run Airport’s Civil Air Patrol Unit, a live rocket hands on demonstration, and other activities.

Ramone Crowe, right, with American Airlines Capt. Christopher Kinsey and FAA Workforce Transformation Division Director Ayisha Mumin.

American Airlines Capt. Christopher Kinsey discusses his career with students.

The Ypsilanti camp’s sponsors include:

• Dr. Celeste Hawkins, faculty, School of Social Work, Eastern Michigan University;
• Dr. Toni Stokes-Jones, faculty, College of Education, Eastern Michigan University;
• Melinda Marion, Technology Transfer, Eastern Michigan University;
• Dr. Brian Smith, cosponsor, National Tuskegee Airmen Museum;
• Kenneth Donaldson, cosponsor, Black United Fund of Michigan;
• Dr. Sherrell Hobbs, Assistant Superintendent, Ypsilanti Community Schools;
• Delta Airlines, cosponsor;
• Ayisha Mumin, Director, Workforce Transformation Division, FAA;
• James Brough, National STEM Program Manager, FAA;
• Dr. Linda McClain, Black United Fund of Michigan;
• Captain Christopher Kinsey, American Airlines;
• Brandon Jones, First Officer, United Airlines/Air National Guard;
• National Black Coalition of Federal Employees (NBCFAE) members; and
• Alexa Hinda, Community Development Specialist, Microsoft

Students view an aircraft stamp machine demo at the Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology (MIAT).

The new camp’s success has already attracted attention from area organizations and schools who want to become involved in the program, Crowe said.

“Based on the success of the inaugural ACE Camp, another school district and aviation trade school have expressed interest in partnering with us in 2019,” he said.

A camp participant takes a look at an aircraft used to train the Tuskegee Airmen.

Aviation education has been a decades-long passion for Crowe. More than 20 years ago, he volunteered to help mentor young children before becoming the director of the ACE Academy program in Detroit. Wayne State University hosts the Academy, one of the FAA’s initiatives within the Aviation and Space Education Outreach Program (https://my.faa.gov/tools_resources/training_learning/stem- avsed/program-structure/national-programs.html#ace) , under the leadership of James Brough. The camp uses a curriculum with agency guidelines and focuses on the areas of aviation history, the theory of flight, parts of an airplane, navigation and weather, and aviation careers.

Next year will bring the addition of a third new ACE Academy to target students in Michigan. “We are in the process of adding a third camp to cover the northern portion of Southeast Michigan,” Crowe said. An “overwhelming” number of organizations and school systems want to partner with organizers of next year’s academy.

“This adds to the number of students we can reach in addition to our camps in Detroit and Ypsilanti,” he added.

Read more Focus FAA features (https://my.faa.gov/content/myfaa/en/focus/article- search.html?q=ramone+crowe) about Ramone and his positive work in the Michigan community and more about his work with the Black United Fund of Michigan, a CFC-listed charity (https://my.faa.gov/focus/articles/2018/11/The_Sky_is_Not_the_L.html) , to attract local youth to careers in aviation.

Top Photo: Ramone Crowe, far right, with participants in this summer’s ACE Academy in Ypsilanti, Mich.