By Jessica Weney & Jul DeGeus
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection; what we have, what we want and even what we’ve lost. Here at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), we witness gratefulness daily through the hard work and effort our students and staff exhibit. Gestures of gratitude can so easily go unrecognized when you’ve got your eye on the prize, as so many of our scholars do.
But what is behind this drive? What makes ‘the daily grind’ worth all the effort to our students? Jessica Weney, Student Services Coordinator of AIM Philadelphia, was curious to find out. So, like any inquisitive mind, Jessica sought out for answers by interviewing Oscar Polanco, Diane Pettiford, Luis Zayas, and Teresa Williamson, students at AIM.
Who/What are you most thankful for?
Oscar: My kids are my daily motivation. I want to give them the best life I can give to them, so they do not have to live with struggles I did. I am thankful every day for the health and happiness that both my family and I have.
Diane: I am thankful every day for my family. I would not be able to achieve what I am right now without their motivation and support.
Luis: I am thankful for God and the path he put me on to get me here. I am so, so thankful for my family for supporting me with my decisions and motivating me to do the best I can.
Teresa: I am thankful every day for life as a whole. I’m thankful for my parents for making me the best person I can be, teaching me that sky’s the limit, and to reach for my goals.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Oscar: My favorite traditions is getting together with my family from all over the country. Catching up over dinner and cocktails, reminiscing, and learning what new exciting things are to come for my family.
Diane: Last minute shopping trips with my sister and knowing what the looks will be on my kids’ faces when they get their gifts is priceless.
Luis: I love getting together with family, reminiscing, and showing love and support for one another.
Teresa: Being that my parents are deceased, the holidays are rough for me and my siblings. My brothers and sisters and I all go to mass together because it was something we used to do with our parents on the eve of the holidays. We also have a small dinner just the 4 of us.
And there you have it. Jessica found out that you can find the reason behind anyone’s drive, if you just take the time. Like Luis’s lifelong dream of becoming an Aviation Maintenance Technician or Diane’s daily performance, showing her children she is a strong, positive and encouraging role model. You’ll see Teresa living each day out emulating her parents and honoring their memory or Oscar showing his children the rewards of hard work and the bond of family. And finally, Jessica, whose determination and curiosity actually reflects her affection and devotion towards every student who walks into her office.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at AIM.