Ty Thompson – Texas Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination by Berkley Thompson Photography by Lisa McNiel Photography Issue 21 - Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Ty is a real example of a servant leader. As an elected member of the Amarillo High School Student Executive Council, he has over 1000 volunteer hours. The High Plains Food Bank, Snack Pack for Kids, Amarillo Symphony, and First Baptist Church Missions are some of the organizations for which he has volunteered. Ty has served as an officer in History and Latin Club as well as Jr. Class Secretary and was on the golf team. Ty enjoys US history, Texas Country music and sharing his faith. Ty is always smiling and is currently attaining his private pilot's license.
Tell us about your interest in planes and wanting to become a pilot. "Once you have flown a plane, your eyes will always look to the skies." That's a saying that I live by daily. Ever since I was a little kid, I've always been fascinated with the idea of flight.
What is something you think not a lot of people know about planes? 1. Chemtrails are a lie. 2. Airplanes are the safest means of transportation.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? If you work hard, have a good group of friends and set your goals in life high, you will be able to reach your wildest dreams.
What about you inspires others? I am driven to work hard at everything I do. It doesn't matter what gifts or talents you are given; those who work for it will prosper.
Who do you find inspiring? I often look at my grandparents for guidance or even advice. I see what all they have overcome through the decades and listen to what they have to say.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that wasn't in your nomination? In my spare time, I love to sing. I sing in our high schools' varsity choir. I also love singing with friends and family and write my music when I'm at home. Who is your favorite artist? My favorite artist is Alan Jackson. Not only does he have some down south country, he also has some Texas country. He produces music that everyone can dance along too.
What are some of your favorite country songs? "Summertime Blues" Alan Jackson, "Write This Down," George Strait and "Galveston" Glen Campbell.
What organizations were your favorite to volunteer at and why? My favorite organization to serve at was Executive Council. The role of an Exec member is to serve the school's needs. Organizing for prom and food drives for the less fortunate were some of my fondest memories.
What were some of your duties as an officer in the History and Latin Club? I organized and oversaw many of the club's activities. I often put together meetings and held weekly service opportunities such as packing lunch sacks for the less fortunate to eat on the weekends. How did your career in golf begin? How long have you played the sport? Golfing has been a life long past time for my family and me. Growing up with a father and grandfather who played made it easy for me to pick up the sport and try to keep up. I often find myself trying to convince my friends to play.
How do you keep yourself organized with everything you have on your plate? I keep a calendar with all the dates and times of events where I need to be.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I used to shoot shotguns competitively for our county's 4-H team.
What are three things on your bucket list? 1. I have always wanted to skydive. 2. I would love to travel to Sweden. 3. Fly a vintage f-4 Corsair
Anything else you'd like to tell us? I'm honored to be nominated for this opportunity, and I'm looking forward to knowing who wins.
Ty will be featured in issue 21 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Alan Ortega Lopez Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Photography by Lindsay Nalley Photography Indiana Issue 18
The Nomination: Alan Ortega Lopez's senior sessions was one of my favorites. He has accomplished so much for only being a senior. He currently holds his Private Pilot Certificate (PPL). He is taking online ground school and will be going to the Lift Academy in June. In approx. 7 months he will become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).
How did your career in becoming a pilot begin? When I was a little boy, I would always watch Jay-Jay the airplane and I always dreamed of flying. When I went on a trip to California with my grandma, I was looking out the window at the airplanes landing and taking off. I thought it would be awesome to just travel all over the place and look at the world in a whole different perspective. As I was sitting in the airplane waiting for us to taxi to the runway, I kept brainstorming all these questions about how airplanes can lift all the weight and what keeps them in the air? Once we got to our destination, I googled what it took to become a pilot. I watched videos and documentaries about aviation in general the whole time. When we finally got home, I called my local airport in Daviees County and met Eric Seber who took me up in a Discovery flight. I was able to fly the airplane for about 10 minutes. It was then that I realized that this is what I wanted to do. I later got my PPL at Midwest Aerosports.
What is your favorite part about being involved in the pilot business? The thing I love most about being in the aviation business is that I constantly make new friends and mentors through networking at airports. I have met various mentors throughout this journey. However, I love flying to different airports for lunch with my friends or other pilots to talk about our training and about aviation in general and how new regulations may affect general aviation. I also love to travel to new places and eat what we call the $100-dollar burger.
Tell me about the Lift Academy you will be attending in June. The Lift Academy is in Indianapolis, Indiana and is in association with Republic Airlines. This academy teaches the students how to be ready for the airlines and uses state of the arch technology to create a well and knowledgeable learning environment for the students. The academy gives students a direct pathway to Republic Airlines where student can see themselves sitting on the right seat of an E-170, E-175 as a first officer and work up to a captain position in about 3 years. Republic started this academy in order to cope with the pilotage shortage. However, before becoming a first officer with Republic, while at LIFT students will become certified flight instructors (CFI) to reach the 1500+ hours to meet FAA regulations.
If someone wanted to be a Pilot, like yourself, what advice would you give them? If someone wanted to become a pilot like me I would recommend them to research around for the different flight schools that they could attend near their area and that they shouldn't settle for the first flight school they come across. There are many flight schools to choose from. Once they pick the right flight school for them, they need to find A CFI that fits their learning style because it will make their training way better and allow them to be knowledge of the learning material. Also, to work hard for their dream of becoming a pilot. It takes a lot of work, time, money and dedication to become a pilot but at the end of the day you will be doing what you love the most and will be investing in your own future.
What are some of the planes you wish to fly in the future and why? Some of the airplanes I want to fly in the future would be a TBM,A380, and a Beachcraft King air. The reason I would love to fly these airplanes is because each different type and category of aircraft creates a new base of learning that airplane the airplanes listed above have various avionics systems that would require a lot of training to fully become familiar with the airplane and its components. Also, each one generates a different challenge for the pilots in some way shape or form and by adding various aircraft types increases the pilots experience which is the best thing a pilot can do. As a good CFI says, "A good pilot is always learning" (Jason Shapert).
Alan will be featured in Issue 18 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.