County Commissioner of Miami-Dade Barbara Jordan and Barrington Irvin.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – The Concours Club (concoursclub.com), a groundbreaking “arrive and drive” luxury automotive club located within the Miami Executive Opa-Locka Airport, has partnered with renowned pilot Barrington Irving to build facilities for his educational programs, Experience Aviation and Flying Classroom, on the The Concours Club campus. The goal is to create the ultimate learning playground for students and adults of this community to experience real world applications of STEM.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in inner-city Miami, Irving rose to prominence when, at the age of 23, he simultaneously set two Guinness world records – as the youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the world. His fervent passion to explore, inspire and educate others made him a natural teacher and he endeavored to create a place where young people could learn about the world that had fascinated him as a young man.
Eager to use his experiences to engage young people, Irving developed a Flying Classroom curriculum (flyingclassroom.com) that transforms the way students learn STEM. They follow his global expeditions and engage in problem-solving activities that enable them to overcome new challenges.
In 2006, Irving founded Experience Aviation at the Miami Executive Opa-Locka Airport as a non-profit organization committed to challenging students, through STEM, to build an airplane from scratch and successfully fly it.
Students were also educated on how to build race cars, earn flight licenses, mechanical certifications and a host of other programs geared towards education and career advancement with the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“To date, Experience Aviation has helped students amass over $2,000,000 in scholarships and many have gone on to become working professionals in STEM industries,” said Irving. “With The Concours Club’s commitment to continuing this program, we will further enhance the lives of those who have the drive, but were sorely in need of the opportunity. We couldn’t think of a better partnership to make this a reality. ”
With assistance from longtime advocate, Commissioner Barbara Jordan, the brand new facilities for the program at The Concours Club will include classrooms, tech bays and equipment, where STEM programming and vocational training will take place for students of ages ranging from middle school to young adult. The program will further extend into local colleges and universities, all under Irving’s direction. Most notably, the education of the students will venture beyond the classroom with a formal internship and mentoring program at The Concours Club. The program is expected to create 300 or more local jobs directly on campus.
“I am excited about the amazing partnership between The Concours Club and Experience Aviation. This essential community outreach component will fulfill a critical need for young people who reside in this area by stimulating their interests in STEM education,” said Commissioner Jordan. “I applaud The Concours Club for having the vision to provide a permanent home for Experience Aviation in the footprint of its innovative ‘arrive and drive’ project.”
In addition to this unique job training program, The Concours Club will also be home to aircraft charter and sales facilities, flight simulators, pilot instruction and “arrive and drive” support facilities. These facilities on the club’s campus will support all aviation activities for membership and corporate initiatives in addition to the automotive environment within the club.
“We couldn’t think of a better ambassador and partner than Barrington Irving to lead a STEM program and job training initiative at The Concours through Experience Aviation,” said Neil Gehani, Co-Founder of The Concours Club. “His tireless work within the community and across the educational landscape, in addition to his personal accomplishments, are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Barrington sets a level of excellence that will continue to motivate, educate, train and inspire young minds for many years to come. This was absolutely a natural fit for The Concours Club and we are honored to be a part of it.”