Israel & Eric – Grand Rapids, Michigan. Every one of us has hopes and dreams for our life and a young man that the Grand Rapids Dream Center met named Israel is no exception. He aspires to one day be a licensed pilot. The Dream Center discovered that, although he has previously flown in a commercial jet, he had never been in a private plane or had the opportunity to sit in a cockpit to get a personal encounter with what it might be like to be in control of flying an aircraft. Through our network, the Dream Center was able to introduce Israel and his cousin Eric to a pilot that owns his own plane and flies regularly for both personal and private business purposes. The meeting was not going to be a simple show-and-tell opportunity, but rather a life-changing experience that Israel and Eric would never forget!
Early one Saturday morning, the Dream Center escorted Israel and Eric to a local airport to meet with a group of pilots. Excitement began to build as everyone boarded their planes with an anticipated destination of landing in Ludington, Michigan for breakfast. Israel sat in the co-pilot seat up front and for the first time ever, was able to experience what it is like to communicate through aviation headphones and to have an aircraft’s control panel within reach. Upon reaching the target altitude, the pilot turned the controls over to Israel for him to fly the plane! Not only was the flight and the group’s conversations an educational experience that provided valuable knowledge and insight; it was a multi-sensory experience that engaged every aspect of what it is like to be a pilot.
During the commute back to their home, Israel and Eric were excited, amazed and appreciative to have been part of everything that had taken place that morning. Eric made the comment, “Man, you do not even know. People in our neighborhood do not get to do things like that!” The Dream Center team is blessed by our on-going relationship with Israel and Eric and it is a privilege for us to be able to partner with our donors and volunteers to facilitate opening doors of opportunity that help people turn their dreams into reality!