Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Initiative
On the Wings of History Go the Leaders of Tomorrow
Universities across Canada are experiencing an all time low in enrollment in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. A recent study by Let’s Talk Science, a national charitable organization that promotes innovation in young people, states: “There appears to be a serious disconnect between Canadians’ positive perceptions about the importance of science to society and young people’s desire to pursue a science-related career.” This is a significant issue as Canada’s future prosperity will depend on attracting more graduates to these areas of study.
Vintage Wings of Canada has developed a unique program to address the challenge of turning young people onto science, technology, engineering and math, and motivating them to pursue their dreams through hard-work and discipline.
The program is called: The Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Initiative Presented by Raytheon Canada.
Benefiting Leaders of Tomorrow
Vintage Wings of Canada has chosen the Royal Canadian Air Cadets as the beneficiaries of this year’s Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Initiative. Many great role models and successful Canadians have emerged from the air cadet movement, such as astronaut Chris Hadfield, former Chief of Defense General Walt Natynczyk and the late Governor General Ramon Hnatyshyn. With a little support from programs such as Yellow Wings, our air cadets also have the opportunity to become future leaders. This initiative is an effective way to motivate cadets to pursue their dream and seek out a career in science, technology, engineering and math, and reward them for their hard work and discipline.
The Yellow Wings Approach
The Yellow Wings Initiative will take place over 50 days during the summer at cadet camps in nine regions from coast to coast (see Tour Details below). The initiative uses six vintage training aircraft – collectively known as Yellow Wings – as unique teaching tools. These aircraft include the Harvard, Finch, Cornell, Tiger Moth and Boeing Stearman. Each is dedicated to a Canadian veteran who not only served during the Second World War or Cold War, but also had personal experience with the aircraft (see Appendix).
The Yellow Wings educational program is taught by knowledgeable and dynamic Vintage Wings volunteer aviators during half-day sessions. Each summer, more than 6,000 young Canadian participants learn about:
• the Yellow Wings veterans’ personal stories of discipline, sacrifice and valour during past wars;
• the tangible value and benefits of pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and math;
• the engineering and innovative features of each aircraft, as well as get an up-close look “under-the-hood” and from the pilot’s seat in the cockpit;
• the key role these small, Canadian-built aircraft played in the largest aviation training program in history (Note: The Yellow Wings were a critical part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Few Canadians know this massive plan was responsible for training nearly half the air and ground crews who served from Commonwealth countries, or its contribution to the development of post-war Canada).
Each session will also include a powerful motivational video message recorded especially for this program by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station.
Of the 6,000 participants who will take part in these educational sessions, 500 of the most deserving will be selected to fly in a Yellow Wings aircraft with qualified volunteer Vintage Wings pilots. These flights are meant to reward the cadets and encourage them to excel even further.