CAVU Impact Partner: Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited (“CAVU”) for BGCA Teen Pilot

There is no better way to demonstrate the impact that the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) have on the lives of their members than by sharing Jill’s story.

Seventeen-year-old Jill lives in Florida with her mother, Willette, and younger sister. Jill and her sister joined the Boys and Girls Club of Volusia/Flagler Counties at an early age and spent most of their afternoons doing homework and participating in activities at the club while Willette, a single parent, worked full-time. When Jill was eight, she took a field trip with her club to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to participate in the “Women in Aviation” program where club members spoke with female professionals about their careers in aviation. But it was what came next that changed Jill’s future. She said, “I tried the flight simulator and I just fell in love with flying.”

Stephanie Ecklin, the Club’s Development Director, noticed Jill’s fascination with flying and began looking for ways to help her develop her newfound passion. The club’s partnership with Embry-Riddle allowed Jill to receive hands-on STEM experience. Ecklin and other staff members worked with donors and local businesses to raise funds for Jill’s training. Their support enabled her to attend a two-week flight academy facilitated by the Black Pilots of America in Houston, Texas.

Jill’s love of flying continues to grow. She earned her student pilot’s license before she got her driver’s license and made her first supervised solo flight last year. She recalled, “At first I was nervous….but up in the sky, I just feel relaxed and comfortable.” Currently a senior in high school, Jill plans to attend Tuskegee University or another institution with a strong aviation program so that she can study aeronautical engineering.

Jill’s story highlights the important role that BGCA plays in introducing young people to a wide variety of careers and encouraging them to pursue their passions. She is inspired by the unwavering support she received from BGCA and now has a strong desire to do the same for others. Jill is a member of her club’s Junior Staff where she spends her time sharing her passion for flying and serving as a role model for younger members.  

The CAVU Impact Pledge allows us to provide support to BGCA and young people like Jill.  This would not be possible without our clients.

As part of our pledge, we donate 10% of revenue from money fund share classes to nonprofit organizations serving veterans and underrepresented communities. We are honored to count BGCA as one of our impact recipients, and we are proud to partner with our clients to support their efforts. Together, we’re making a difference.

For over 100 years, BGCA has given children and teens in all parts of the country and in U.S. military bases overseas a safe place to learn, grow, and gain valuable life experience. Every year, they provide hope and opportunity to more than 4.6 million young people across the United States, many of whom come from underrepresented communities.