Daniel Mendiola celebrates his graduation from the AMT program
Daniel Mendiola first came to Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Oakland back in 2014. While in the Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) program, he worked as an electrician for his family’s company, Mendiola Home Repair, as well as a pest controller to help make ends meet financially. During his training program at AIM, Daniel maintained a stellar 3.78 GPA. He graduated from the AMT program in 2015 and continued to work towards gaining his A&P license.
Conference table built by Daniel Mendiola, constructed from wing of an aircraft.
In August 2017, he got a job opportunity to return to AIM as an Aircraft Assembly Technician. In this position, he was able to gain real hands-on experience to further prepare him for the aviation industry. He was the lead tech in charge of disassembling and reassembling aircraft. He also fabricated aircraft cradles and parts to move the aircraft. Other responsibilities included creating a custom welding hood and installing new compressor airlines for the facility. Additional custom-built projects included sound walls for running the aircraft in AIM Oakland’s new facility in Fremont, CA, as well as a conference table built from scratch, using a wooden airplane wing.
Daniel obtained his Powerplant rating in June 2018, and is continuing to study for his Airframe rating. In November of 2018, Boeing came to AIM Fremont and held a presentation, as well as on-site interviews. Daniel interviewed and was offered a position right away. He has since relocated to Renton, Washington, where he now works as an Aircraft Test Technician for Boeing. All of his hard work and determination has paid off and we wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors!
By Gail Strickland, AIM Orlando Student Services Coordinator
On Friday, June 15, 2018, Luis Navas attended his exit ceremony at Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Orlando. However, this was no ordinary event for him. Also, in attendance was his father, Gustavo Navas, who had graduated from AIM Orlando himself, almost exactly one year earlier, on June 11, 2017.
Utter pride showed on Gustavo’s face as he discussed what it meant for not only himself to have graduated, but his son, as well.
Luis Navas (left) and his father Gustavo (right) pose for a photo at Luis’s exit ceremony.
A Father’s Story
Prior to his time at AIM, Gustavo was working as an industrial mechanic in a Staples Warehouse. He wanted something different and better though. Gustavo has a cousin who works for Cessna and says that becoming an Aviation Maintenance Technician wasn’t on his mind until he received a tour of the Cessna hangar. It was then that he fell in love with aviation. He says that since he graduated, he has reached his goal of working for Cessna and that people now look at him with respect.
Gustavo encouraged his son to go into the aviation field because he wanted him to have a bright future and be successful. However, Luis had different goals for himself.
Like Father, Like Son…Eventually
Luis began attending Lake Sumter State College. After attending college for a time he felt like he was at a dead end and eventually dropped out. Upon leaving Lake Sumter, Luis worked at U-Haul as a hitch pro but quickly grew frustrated. It was performing an oil change that changed his mind about becoming a mechanic. He realized that he enjoyed working with mechanical things, then he took a tour of the same Cessna hangar his father had previously visited and recognized that it was a totally different world.
After the Cessna tour, he decided that this was what he wanted to do with his life – become an Aviation Maintenance Technician.
Almost exactly one year after his father began the program at AIM, Luis followed in his father’s footsteps and started school. The father and son duo didn’t have any classes together, until Gustavo’s last block, Reciprocating Engines, taught by AIM Orlando Instructor James Allman. Gustavo states that it took a push to get his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Certification but, with support from Mr. Allman, he did it.
“The process is not hard, but you need passion,” says Luis. “That way, when challenges do come, you don’t feel intimidated, but can enjoy it.”
Gustavo wants to encourage future students to consider AIM and says, “In my opinion, this (AIM) is one of the highest quality schools in the industry.” Gustavo and Luis are both looking forward to working together in the aviation field.
Desks, bookshelves, and other equipment that were donated will be used in facilities throughout Norfolk.
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) has purchased a new facility on East Little Creek Road, in Norfolk, Virginia. AIM Chesapeake plans to relocate to this facility later this summer.
The building, once Calvary Christian School, had become a repository for school equipment and books suited to children. AIM invited the City of Norfolk and REACH, Inc. (Reading Enriches All Children) out to collect these items to give back to the community they will soon serve.
Employees from the City of Norfolk were on hand to load trucks and vans with desks, bookshelves, and other equipment that will be useful in recreation centers and other community facilities throughout the city. They were joined later by the Executive Director of REACH, Jennifer Goff. REACH was interested in the wealth of reading materials. REACH, established in 1998, focuses on literacy and education, specifically for at-risk and impoverished youth in the Hampton Roads area.
City of Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander speaks with AIM Chesapeake Campus Executive Director Bruce Jones.
Also on site was Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander, who gave a brief statement about AIM’s contribution.
“We are excited about this wonderful gift. These are high- quality furniture and fixtures. Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Mr. Yagen, and Dr. English are great corporate citizens and continue to give back to the cities and communities where they have career education centers. This is a continuation of their generosity . . . [This equipment] will be used for our youth, for their growth and development in our recreation centers, as well as for our Community Services board.”
AIM is continuing to look for suitable homes for the remaining furnishings and materials that remain.
AIM has donated quite a bit of equipment already, but still has much to give. Janis Schoonmaker, Regional Director of Operations said, “We are reaching out to other organizations within the city. We hope to be able to donate to those individuals who will benefit most.”
Over the coming weeks, AIM will work toward finding suitable homes for the remaining furnishings and materials, before transforming the building into their flagship campus.
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