By: Pat White
MIAMI – Just recently Barrington Irving, the first African American (he is also Jamaican) and youngest person to fly around the world solo, mentored some Miami students. These students, under his guidance, were able to build a plane in 10 weeks. This kind of plane would normally take about a year to build. This is just awe- inspiring and remarkable.
Barrington gets double kudos and double respect from me because he did not approach 4.0 students, but students that were at risk of falling through the cracks. He mentored 1.5 grade point average students.
I am particularly proud of Barrington because he saw the bigger picture and stepped outside of the box.
Captain Barrington Irving (ECCB)
About a year ago, Oprah built a multi-million dollar school for students in Africa. No one is criticizing Oprah for going to Africa to build a school if thats what she felt she was called to do. But, when she said she did not help failing students right here, because they said they wanted to Jeans and Sneakers was just ludicrous. Because of the great disparity in education in poor neighborhoods compared to more affluent areas, the question of “why not help these kids that are dropping out of schools at an alarming rate?” was only a natural one. Her lame response to this question was, “When I asked these kids in America what they wanted they said they wanted Jeans and Sneakers.” Might I remind you Oprah that you are known for giving away houses and cars and all kinds of other gadgets on your show. If you asked me what I wanted, I would give my laundry list as well, as long as you are giving away stuff.
It would be so great for someone like Oprah to put her face behind this educational issue and bring some type of attention to it – Build some Charter schools while you’re at it. Well, Barrington sees the vision and I’m so glad he is helping these forgotten kids, who would have been left behind. These kids were beaming with pride to know that they built a plane under the guidance of this inspiring Pilot. I hope that this Program that Mr. Irving started continues to grow. I am sure this is giving hope to many kids who otherwise would probably have made bad choices.
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