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AIM Graduate Spotlight – Daniel Mendiola

Posted by on Jan 29, 2019

Daniel Mendiola graduation

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.

Daniel Mendiola conference table

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!

AIM Orlando Grad Follows in Fathers Footsteps

Posted by on Jan 24, 2019

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.

AIM Orlando Navas graduation

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.

AIM Chesapeake Preps for Move by Donating Equipment

Posted by on Jan 23, 2019

AMN Loading

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.

AMN Norfolk Mayor

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.”

What’s Next?

AMN Books

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.

For local news coverage, please see:

https://www.wavy.com/news/local-news/norfolk/aviation-institute-donates-furnishings-from-former-christian-school-to-city-of-norfolk/1695885362.

AIM Houston Surprises Local School with Donation of Backpacks

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018

By Rita Pradier, AIM Houston Community Outreach Representative

Most of us can remember back-to-school shopping in the weeks before the start of school. New clothes, shoes and, of course, the cool backpack and supplies that your mom told you not to touch. Things have changed and many families don’t have the resources to purchase all of the required school supplies so many weeks in advance. To the rescue – AIM Houston’s “Backpack Attack”.

Donated school supplies waiting to be stuffed into backpacks by AIM Houston.

Donated school supplies waiting to be stuffed into backpacks by AIM Houston.

Aaron Armendariz, Campus Executive Director at AIM Houston, challenged the campus to participate in the project, as a way to give back to the local community. With the promise of 250 backpacks and school supplies on order, each department found a way to help before the challenge deadline. Lucile Gregg Elementary, a Title I school located near the AIM Houston campus, was contacted. The school’s principal, Mr. David Jackson, was given the news of the forthcoming donation.

In the weeks leading up to the deadline, AIM Houston’s National Technical Honor Society approached area stores to donate 1,000 spiral notebook tablets. Soon after, the staff and students joined in to help reach the goal. Classes challenged each other to make sure there would be enough supplies for the backpacks.

The final tally came to 1,973 notebooks donated by students and staff at AIM Houston. At last, it was packing day and all departments lent a hand as supplies were sorted, organized, bundled and placed into the backpacks.

Campus Executive Director Aaron Armendariz poses for a photo with a Lucile Gregg Elementary student as she receives her backpack.

Campus Director Aaron Armendariz poses for a photo with a Lucile Gregg Elementary student as she receives her backpack.

On Tuesday, August 21, 2018 the backpacks were delivered by the campus management team to Principal Jackson and his staff, to be shared with families in need. The students and parents from Lucile Gregg Elementary entered the cafeteria expecting just to meet their classroom teachers. However, they were greeted to a table of backpacks filled with school supplies to kick off the school year.

The AIM team issued the backpacks and posed for pictures with some of the students. It was truly fulfilling to see the children’s’ faces as they came forward. Principal Jackson and his staff thanked us for blessing them with the donation and now consider AIM a community partner. AIM Houston looks forward to collaborating with Lucile Gregg Elementary again in the near future.

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Fremont, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.

AIM Chesapeake Student Honored with Rotary Club Scholarship

Posted by on Oct 22, 2018

By Megan Lewis, AIM Chesapeake Veteran Affairs Officer

Joel English (left), Nicole Cain and Doug Davis (right).

“I knew, at six years old, when I grew up I was going to be around anything that could fly. I don’t know if I’m a ‘grown up’ yet, but I feel like I’m living out my dream.”

This was written by Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) Chesapeake student, Nicole Cain, as part of her essay for a Rotary Club scholarship application. Nicole enrolled at AIM earlier this year after getting out of the Navy, where she worked on SH-60S helicopters.

The Rotary Club of Chesapeake, Virginia generously wanted to provide one local AIM student a $500 scholarship to pursue their education at the school. This was the first time they had offered a scholarship to a vocational/technical program individual. Several students turned in their applications and Nicole’s phenomenal essay was chosen out of all of the great submissions.

On September 12th the Rotary Club hosted a luncheon to award Nicole the scholarship. To her surprise, Rotary President, Doug Davis, presented her with a $1,000 check to support her educational dreams! Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Operations for AIM, announced that with AIM’s Scholarship Match program, Nicole would receive $2,000 total towards her schooling. It was a wonderful event, celebrating a dedicated student at AIM. Congratulations Nicole and best of luck in your pursuit of living out your dreams!

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast across the United States and headquarters located in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the FAA exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va. Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.