Republican Men Donate to NAACP for Scholarship to National Flight Academy

From Left: Russell Tuff, Erick Carter, Vincent Keeys, Reg Buxton and Harold Weeks

“This year the committee was dutifully impressed with the work that Vincent Keeys, President of NAACP Collier County, is doing to promote and support students to attend the National Flight Academy (NFA) in Pensacola, FL. The Collier Republican Men’s Club $1,500 award will allow one deserving student to attend the academy this summer,” Announced John Thomas, chairman of the scholarship committee for the Collier Men’s Republican Club.

The immersive program uses flight simulators and teaches students how to use science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to alleviate humanitarian crises, such as saving a crew of an overturned ship or bringing water to a natural disaster.

The Collier County students attended the academy through the student enrichment program of the NAACP of Collier County. The NAACP’s program, in collaboration with Collier County Public Schools, provides opportunities for students to get involved in art, STEM and college preparatory programs.

“Many of our minority kids are not given opportunities in the STEM-related fields,” said Collier County NAACP President Vincent Keeys. “We try and do that for them so that they eventually will obtain careers in very difficult areas, but are high-paying careers.”

Collier students spent the week on a virtual aircraft carrier at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Throughout the week, they used flight simulators and worked as a team with other Flight Academy students to complete different kinds of missions.

Keeys said the Flight Academy program has given the students an opportunity to understand the importance of teamwork and make real-life connections to what is taught in the classroom.
“As an engineer you’ve got to know a lot of math, a lot of science,” he said. “You put all those theoretical applications that they learn in school into practice.”

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