Students of Charlton School in Telford graduated from the Jon Egging Trust (JET) Blue Skies West Midlands programme on Friday.
They received their awards from Group Captain Tone Baker, Station Commander of RAF Cosford. Dr Emma Egging, CEO of the Trust was also there to congratulate the first JET students to graduate in the West Midlands.
Blue Skies is an initiative concentrating on teamwork, leadership and employability skills, raising aspirations and confidence in young people who face significant barriers to reaching their full potential. 12 students aged 12-13 have completed Blue Skies level 1 programme, which is run in partnership with RAF Cosford.
Over the past five months, Blue Skies has linked the students with inspirational individuals and environments connected to aviation, science and engineering, such as developing teamwork skills whilst rescuing fellow students in a dinghy drill pool exercise, learning communication skills on a navigation day, and problem solving whilst building a metre spanned glider. This has increased their confidence and communication ability by over 90%, as well as improving their attitude to learning.
The Jon Egging Trust was set up in memory of Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging (Red 4) who tragically lost his life on 20th August 2011 whilst completing a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival. The charity realises his dream of helping young people overcome adversity, identify their strengths and work towards their ambitions.
Dr Emma Egging, CEO of JET said: “The Jon Egging Trust gives young people a vital sense of possibility and purpose, helping them to grow in confidence and self esteem. Everyone deserves the chance to be the best they can be, and I am so proud to see how positively these students have responded when given that chance. We want to give that opportunity to as many as possible. This is our seventh region and we are aiming to work in 9 regions and help 10,000 young people a year by 2020.”
Jackson, a student said: “The Blue Skies programme has helped me to become more involved at school. My questioning skills have improved. I have become more motivated and have made more effort to research information just because I am interested.”
Emily a student said: “This programme has helped me work better with people. I notice how other people are feeling. I have had the chance to ask a lot of questions and share my ideas. We have all changed because of this programme and don’t get sent out of class as much.”