Reaching for the Skies: Fly Compton Foundation’s Impactful Journey

In a world often characterized by its barriers and limitations, there are moments that break through the status quo, inspiring change and igniting hope. One such beacon of light shines brightly from the heart of Compton, California, in the form of the Fly Compton Foundation. Founded by a group of dedicated African American aviation professionals, this nonprofit organization is not just teaching young minds to fly—it’s empowering them to soar.

Brother Demetrius Harris (Tau Tau ’09), a testament to the transformative power of representation, found his own dream taking flight when he saw two pilots who looked like him in the cockpit of a commercial airplane. That single moment planted the seeds of ambition in his heart, leading him to pursue a career in aviation. Now, as a contract pilot for private jets, he’s paying it forward through the Fly Compton Foundation.

Joining him in this noble endeavor are fellow founders Alex Barker, Jabril Miller, Brian Monette, Ronnel Norman, Michael Sherrill, and Jonathan Strickland. Each brings their own unique expertise and passion for aviation, united by a shared commitment to giving back to their community and opening doors of opportunity for the next generation.

The mission of the foundation is clear: to provide opportunities for underprivileged youth in the Compton community to explore the boundless skies of aviation. Through mentorship, educational programs, and access to resources, these young individuals are not just learning to fly planes; they’re learning to defy gravity, to challenge stereotypes, and to break the chains of limitation.

At the core of the foundation’s endeavors is a nine-month flight training program designed to instill a deep understanding of aeronautical concepts while fostering real-world skills and experiences. From the cockpit of a Cessna 172N named “Kim” to the wings of a Piper Cherokee called “Billie Jean,” students are given the chance to spread their wings and reach for the stars.

But Fly Compton Foundation is more than just a flight school; it’s a community hub, a beacon of hope in a neighborhood too often overshadowed by adversity. Through initiatives like the Birthday Club, community cleanup events, and one-on-one mentoring, the foundation is building more than just pilots—it’s building leaders, changemakers, and ambassadors of possibility.

And while the cost of the program may seem daunting to some, the foundation ensures that financial assistance and scholarships are available for those who need them most. Because they understand that talent knows no economic bounds and that every dream deserves the chance to take flight.

The impact of the Fly Compton Foundation extends far beyond the tarmac; it’s a mission fueled by passion, driven by purpose, and guided by the belief that with the right support and encouragement, anything is possible.

Gratitude takes flight today as we honor Bro. Demetrius Harris, co-founder, and president, whose unwavering commitment to the Fly Compton Foundation embodies the spirit of opportunity and empowerment.  Support Fly Compton

Photo: IG:

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